The California legislature has now passed something they call the “fair pay” bill that would allow some college athletes to hire agents, sign endorsement deals, and benefit financially from their high profiles. But it really isn't fair at all. For the most part, athletes in non-revenue sports aren’t going to get much if any of this pay. Only a few elite football and basketball players will really benefit. They’re the ones on TV who are well known.
So how is that fair?
One of several bad things are going to happen if Governor Newsom signs this bill into law. If California schools allow elite athletes to reap cash rewards for their names and images, it would give them an unfair recruiting advantage. The NCAA can’t allow that, so they may declare them ineligible for all NCAA competition. If the NCAA does that, California universities will actually suffer in the recruiting wars because the best athletes won’t want to a school that doesn’t play anybody. The unintended consequences could jeopardize the athletic futures of powerhouse programs like USC, UCLA and Stanford.
The California legislature, well intentioned as they may be, should stay out of this. This issue must be decided on a national level and can’t be driven by one state. In the strongest possible terms, I call on Governor Newsom to veto this bill when it gets to his desk.
I’m Bill Lamb, and that’s my Point of View.
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