Collegiate Athletes Images Liberated from NCAA

by LIZBETH ZAMBRANO & SEAN NAKASHIMO

Collegiate athletes in the state of California will have new opportunities to profit from their image, previously being heavily regulated by the NCAA. 

On Sept. 30, California Governor Gavin Newsom passed the Fair Pay to Play Act which permits college athletes in California to get paid for their name, image, likeness, scholarships and autographs. Through this act, in the year 2023, California universities will be unable to revoke an athlete’s scholarship due to the athlete seeking endorsement deals. 

According to ncaa.org, “NCAA Divisions I and II schools provide more than $2.9 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 150,000 student-athletes.” Students in Division I collegiate sports are offered scholarships that pay for full tuition and supply room and board. 

Despite this being the case, many student-athletes’ financial needs are not being fulfilled.  According to entrepreneur and Huffington Post writer Tyson Hartnett, “Even with any type of scholarship, college athletes are typically dead broke. But how much do the top NCAA executives make? About $1 million per year.” While the NCAA reports  revenues of more than $1 billion, athletes do not receive a single penny from the money they bring in. 

Athletes are not compensated for the money they bring to this industry. In the film, “Everyone Made Money Off My N.C.A.A Career, Except me,” Katelyn Ohasi, former college gymnast for the University of California, Los Angeles, explains her frustrations when she was unable to profit off a viral video of her floor routine. 

 In the film Ohasi states, “I was handcuffed by the NCAA rules from deriving any benefit from my own name and likeness, regardless of the fact that after my final meet I had no pro league to join.” By introducing new legislation such as the Fair Pay to Play act, student-athletes in the NCAA will no longer be held back from making money from their image. 

One will only continue to see this movement become more prevalent as states across the nation are following in the footsteps as California. 

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