NCAA Passes Bill Allowing Students to Profit off Likeness in 2021

Calvin Schapira

On October 29, 2019 the NCAA unanimously voted to begin the process of allowing student athletes to profit from their likeness and image. After years of discussion and uncertainty, this bill is the first step in the right direction to help Division 1 student athletes with their financial needs.

This is a pivotal step taken in the ongoing debate of whether student athletes should be paid. First, California took the initiative, passing their own bill that gave student athletes compensation based on their likeness and image, but the NCAA took no action on that bill. There were rumors of other states also looking into passing a similar bill, but with the NCAA’s bill, the entire country will be affected.

However, the bill will not be put in effect until 2021. There are still many small details that need clarification. The NCAA needs to figure out how they will differentiate between professional and colligate sports and ensure that student athletes do not receive special privileges and benefits or preferential treatment over other students.  They must ensure that the rules are fair for all college sports, and all student athletes are treated equally without bias.

This bill could bring         a new, better era for college sports.  It could help student athletes on and off the field and add value to their experience.  Currently, in addition to academics, student athletes put in countless hours into training, and it makes it difficult to have a normal life and financially support themselves.  This bill could solve some of their financial problems which will lead to less stress and better performance.

Trey Newman, a freshman baseball player at Utah Valley University (a Division 1 school), who will be affected by this bill in 2021 said in an interview, “I completely agree with what the NCAA is doing. I spend so much time on school and my sport; worrying about money adds to the stress I already have. If we receive profit off ourselves, it can give me the financial boost I need.” He went on to say, “Whatever money that we will be compensated with by the NCAA will make my life so much easier and give me some room to do the things I enjoy as well.”

Trey’s opinion seems to coincide with opinions of student athletes across the country who agree that this bill is a welcome change that the NCAA needed to make a long time ago. The details of the bill are yet to be unveiled, but it will be monumental, and this bill is just the first step as the NCAA makes strides to help student athletes live a comfortable life, play the sport they love, and most importantly work toward a degree that will last them a lifetime.