College sports is a multi-billion dollar business built on the backs of exceptional athletes who sacrifice their time and their bodies to appeal to fans. While these athletes work and train for hours every day for nothing more than some scholarship money or a full-ride at most, the executives are bringing home the profits of the billion-dollar-industry. California is taking strides to end this exploitation: on September 29, Gov. Newsom signed a bill allowing college athletes to make money off of their names, taking effect in 2023.
This is progress. While the athletes still won’t be paid a salary for their hours, this new regulation will allow the athletes to sign endorsements with large companies. College stars will no longer be slaves to the NCAA and their fierce regulations on the money. But is it enough? After all, this bill is exclusive to athletes in California and does not change the financial status of athletes in other states, and it doesn’t give them a wage paid with the billions of dollars the NCAA makes every year. However, this bill does serve an important role. This bill pushes at the NCAA’s strict monetary regulations and serves to elicit change for college athletes throughout America. And it seems to be working.
On October 29, the NCAA followed California’s lead and passed a formal regulation that
“College stars will no longer be slaves to the NCAA and their fierce regulations on money.”
will allow the athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image, and likeness.” This shows the willingness of the NCAA to allow profits for their subjects despite their history of intolerance and stubbornness. College athletes throughout America will be granted a new source of money, a step toward fairness. The NCAA plans to enforce the new regulations by January 2021, two years before California’s law.
However, the NCAA also announced its commitment to preventing athletes from becoming “employees of institutions.” It seems they have no intention of granting the athletes fair salaries in the future, effectively branding them slaves of their institution. NCAA profits are booming — they reportedly made over one billion dollars in 2018 — and the athletes themselves are to thank for the popularity of college sports. So shouldn’t it be a given that they should benefit from their work for the institution? These new laws only allow them to benefit and make money off of other businesses and organizations, not from the one that they promote the most. These changes are welcomed, but more needs to be done to truly bring fairness to the college sports arena.