Whether to pay college athletes has been a huge debate for many years. However, the NCAA decided in 2021 that college athletes should be paid through their endorsements. For example, players are now able to get merchandise deals for profit which used to be illegal according to NCAA rules. This new rule is one that seems to win favor with the players who shed their blood, sweat and tears in competitive play. The philosophy is that since these players perform for millions of fans, and bring their universities money, attention and popularity due to their play, these athletes should receive compensation from the money earned by the institutions they play for.
Athletes around the world are excited to hear this news and have extensive thoughts on the rule change. “I think college athletes getting paid is a huge help to not only them, but the school as well,” says senior varsity football center and defensive tackle, Alex Bonete. “ It helps the students find better housing, and if sports don’t work well and they have to find a different job, they have a comfortable cushion to lay on. That cushion would keep them from being bankrupt and struggling after they graduate.” In addition, varsity football coach Fernando Sotelo agrees with the new ruling saying, “If they are making money for the school and they are NFL bound, I think they should get paid. Colleges are super rich off of their athletes.”
This new rule change has everybody wondering “why now?” Several sources such as CNBC.com, NBC Sports and CBS News say that the NCAA passed this rule due to the decrease of athletes going to college. “That could definitely be a factor, but bottom line, if colleges are getting rich, student athletes should benefit a little from the money they help generate,” says Sotelo. Athletes like Jalen Green, Lamelo Ball, and Efe Obada all decided to take this different path by not going to college before playing in their pro leagues. Many athletes today are going to outside leagues and organizations like the G League Program, CFL or XFL that will pay them a nice salary. Bonete says, “I think that was part of the reason, because people have been protesting about this problem for a few years now, especially after Odell Beckham Jr. was caught appearing to give money to an LSU player after they won the championship.”As an LSU alum, Beckham seemed to hand out wads of money to some LSU championship players. It was reported in Sports Illustrated that this appeared to be a mockery of the amateurism policy of the NCAA.
The NCAA’s new rule has been passed and took effect July 1st 2021. This year’s athletes will be getting paid for their hard work and relevant performances. Fans of college athletics will also be able to find out if their favorite college players will get paid and who is or will be endorsing them. Additionally, as future college athletes become more advanced in ability, strength and earning power, colleges will be hard pressed to find additional ways to attract those elite performers and make their recruitment appealing. Right now, the question is whether this new rule will stand alone or be the beginning of more extensive possibilities for athletes’ compensation. Bonete said “No, I don’t think there will be more payments to athletes in the future because the NCAA wouldn’t want to miss out on so much money they could keep for themselves.” Only time will tell.