Everyone Made Money Off My N.C.A.A. Career, Except Me

California’s initiative to allow college athletes to profit from their talent is a boon especially for women and competitors in sports without pro leagues.

Comments: 279

  1. Katelyn Ohashi makes it sounds like she has been terribly exploited. However, the fact is that she was given a scholarship to a great university like UCLA in spite of the fact that gymnastics is a money losing program that is financed by revenue from football and men's basketball. How is that exploitation?

  2. @Mark Taylor But here's the problem, Mark. The athletes receive a one year renewable scholarship, which is exactly the same thing they have gotten for decades. Meanwhile, the enterprising people and media around them keep finding more and more ways to profit from an athlete's performance in real time. She received that scholarship based on her past performance, and will continue to receive exactly the same thing but ONLY if she is a contributing member of the team. If not, the coach can revoke her scholarship.

  3. @Mark Taylor Ohasi has completely lost perspective on the value of her UCLA scholarship. This is like Alice in Wonderland. Great that she speaks out about this "exploitation..." If that gymnastics program evaporated tomorrow, UCLA would be able to fund other programs and sports. On balance I think she is getting a pretty good deal. She has a choice; if she has something better to do with her time that can provide a better return on her investment, she should do that.

  4. @j puhl I've never really understood this argument, which is, essentially, "she's already being paid so she shouldn't be paid more." All this bill seeks to do is to remove the NCAA's cap on athlete compensation, which right now is fixed at the value of the scholarship (often less than 100% of tuition in non-revenue sports). So it's precisely about giving the athletes more "choice" about what to do with their time.

  5. What happened in California is just a first step in the overall reform of both the NCAA and higher education. Starting with the latter, the role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education must rethought. Why should there be any intercollegiate athletics when so few students actually participate and so many do not? This comes to the question of the "student-athletes". Is it ethical to promote football with what we know and are learning about CTE? Given the skyrocketing costs of school, shouldn't the attention of administrators be focused on education? The football coach is the highest paid employee at many schools, but your kid in many cases is taught on many days by an underpaid adjunct. The athletic department has its budgets and income sources and instruction has its budgets and sources of income. The former sometimes relies on student fees to cover costs. This comes to the issue of the business model for sports. Most of this is regulated by the NCAA with its arcane system of rules and regulations. The NCAA is all about money. The NCAA and its members are free to make money for images of athletes but the athletes cannot. The California law address this. The next step is direct market-based financial compensation for the players. The actions of the NCAA are exploitive at best. Higher education needs to get out of intercollegiate athletics and focus on the core mission. Thank you Ms. Ohashi for speaking out.

  6. Just a thought, you know at one time physicians and lawyers were not permitted to advertise (either by law, by the rules of their professional societies). Since the source of the NCAA's greed is advertising, I wonder what would be the merits of a law prohibiting them from advertising.

  7. Many of these young adults get educations at great colleges tuition-free, for which they agree to donate their time to a sport in which they excel. This mutual situation is of their choice; it isn't forced upon them and they can back out at any time. Granted, that would also be their choice and one that might involve financial penalties, but that's how life works. This doesn't seem to be a problem, at least to me.

  8. Hmmmm, College costs $50k per year, or more at many schools. And the authors beleive that these athletes, who compete on money loosing teams and/or sports, which drive up tuition & debt for their fellow students who have been given scholarships and thus a free education on the dubious rationale that they are good athletes, are owed MORE?! Almost all money loosing athletic programs, other than intramural sports, at the college level should be done away with as should the scholarships associated with these non academic pursuits. The cost of higher education must be reigned in, and athletic departments are the most obvious place to start.

  9. @Phil Downey You seem to not understand the entire point of the opinion piece. NCAA athletes are not allowed to make any money for activities related to their skill and sport from outside sources. If a student athlete wanted to make money coaching at a camp over the summer they wouldn't be allowed to. And the argument that others make about student athletes already getting "paid" through the scholarship they receive is laughable. Often, because of the requirements put on student athletes time-wise, academics are secondary to practice, etc.

  10. @Phil Downey Whether or not the schools are making money off their athletic programs is not material to the issue at hand. Allowing athletes to profit off of sponsorships and merchandise costs the schools nothing- expect, of course, their ability to profit off of their labor at the athlete's expense.

  11. @Phil Downey You literally have no idea what you are talking about. 1 - No colleges would be forced to pay players. This allows them to be paid from other sources, like endorsements. 2) Athletic programs lose money because they chase success with >$100m facilities and pay coaches millions of dollars. It's not because there's no money in sports.

  12. If my kid is a gifted musician,he or she would be free to perform, sell compositions and endorse musical instruments even though he/she had a college scholarship. I really don't see the difference with athletic scholarships.

  13. There is no difference EXCEPT the cartel established and enforced by the member institutions of the NCAA. Not much unlike the NFL or other major league sports. Exceptions to anti-trust statutes and other fair competition and labor laws. That is why I see it next to impossible for NCAA to prevail if this runs its way through the court system.

  14. @Mason Ripley Unlike the many scoffing others in this forum, you are almost alone in speaking truth. College has become so unaffordable. People are disgusted and jealous of catered-to athletes so they lose sight of both logic and law. It's a morass of money surrounding what is laughably called amateur athletics.

  15. The courts, including the Supreme Court, have consistently upheld the NCAA's position in these matters. At most, the courts have forced a few changes at the margins. That's not going to change. It's the NCAA, not California, who determines eligibility. It's the NCAA, not California, who determines the rules of competition. And it's the NCAA, not California, who determines whether to uphold the century-long model of amateur sports.

  16. I have a hard time feeling sympathetic for these athletes. In 2014, only 24 FBS (football bowl subdivision) athletic departments *made* money (see http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/athletics-departments-make-more-they-spend-still-minority), which means the vast majority of schools *lose* money on athletics - even factoring in football and basketball, which purport to be "revenue sports." So when these athletes say "everyone" made money, they aren't even being honest - most schools lose money on sports, period. But I'd also like to ask any scholarship athlete at my alma mater - where sticker price of attendance including cost of living is almost $300,000 over four years - do you not consider the $300k you saved in loans "making money"? I'll be paying back student loans for years to come, and yet I'm supposed to feel sorry for folks who get preferred admissions and a free ride? Sorry, but I have a hard time believing that D1 athletes who lose their universities money while getting the equivalent in value of the median U.S. single family home in tuition and living expenses are being exploited.

  17. @DSL The argument you're making here supports the total elimination of college athletics, far more than any of the other points you seem to support. Is that what you're aiming for? Works for me. Also fixes you problem (and it is a real problem) of preferred admissions going mostly to the already privileged, in non-revenue, traditionally 'white' sports.

  18. These young ladies are arguing for the free market to prevail. I agree. Rather than getting a free education and coaching and admission preferences, they should pay for college and coaching (likely $60,000 per annum or more) and compete for admissions with every other student (along with having to enroll in classes on the same basis). Then, they can keep whatever they earn. My guess is that there would be few takers of this free market approach....

  19. While I agree that the coaching and training is free, however most top tier coaches are paid handsomely. I am sure the coaches would not mind these kids earning off their talents.

  20. @Southwest 1965 Did you even read the article and listen to the video? She is not asking the university to pay her. She is asking for the legal right to market herself. Honestly!

  21. Great idea

  22. Everything is now for sale. I’ll be surprised if people don’t sell space on their bodies to advertisers. Everyone is selling out. They seem to think it comes without consequences. How soon before high school athletes aren’t getting paid? Why not? They are providing a service. I hope this leads to the end of big time college sports because that’s the only answer in my opinion. Fat chance of that happening— too lucrative.

  23. The extremes of college sports and there economic impact is usually the debated topic. When I go to football game day and see the business profits generated, I come away thinking the athletes need to benefit. When I go to a different sporting event at the same college, the stands are lucky to be filled with parents and friends. However, I still believe any athlete should profit (maybe proportionally with the university?) from their business exposure.

  24. The universities can easily change the income statement to reflect losses from operations much the way a movie producer writes a contract that leave little of remaining profit at the backend to share with actors.

  25. I have an idea, let’s just do away with college athletics. Colleges primary purpose should be education, not running farm teams for the NFL and NBA. Go back to intramural sports for those who are interested and scrap the rest.

  26. @Thomas Smith And there are real benefits to participation intramural or club sports. Without a paid coach, the team members themselves have to show and learn initiative, leadership, organization, financial, teaching and motivating skills that should help them in later life, no matter what profession they pursue or path they take.

  27. @Thomas Smith League-financed NFL and NBA farm teams would cost a lot of money. Why would the leagues spend that kind of money when they can get colleges to spend it instead? Ultimately it is students taking out huge loans that pay for college athletics, anyway, not the colleges. Farm teams would make a huge dent in the profits of the NFL and NBA. Some of the billionaire team owners might not make profits from their teams. How can that be okay? It sounds so un-American.

  28. @Thomas Smith Agreed. This country spends way too much time and money on athletics. China is laughing.

  29. It’s called amateur athletics for a reason. And how much did all of you pay for college, room and board, books, food, travel? My guess is $0. If college athletics was so unfair to you, don’t do it and pay your ride like the rest of us did. I’m still paying for mine 20 years later.

  30. Mike..I think you’ll find a lot of the “lesser” sports offer only partial or token monetary scholarships and student athletes still leave college with debt. As a parent of a now graduated Divsion 1 swimmer I can attest to this.

  31. @Mike A number of athletes interviewed said that their mandatory practice session schedules pretty much precluded them from serious study and attending classes.

  32. Nick Saban's University of Alabama football coaching contract pays him $74 million dollars for eight years. Mr Saban and his wife have two kids. So if college is so valuable, why shouldn't Mr Saban be satisfied with four years' free college for each of his two kids, and leave the $74 million on the table? Because the services he renders are (at least in some peoples' opinion) worth more than tuition, room and board, and books. Maybe the same is true for his quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. (And don't forget, if Mr Saban were to take the tuition deal, his kids would actually get a college education. If his kids were on his football team, though, they'd have to lift weights and watch film and practice and travel, which might just impact the benefits derived from Mr Tagovailoa's "free" education.)

  33. In the pros the stars get paid the most but everyone gets paid. What about the other team members of a college team if just the star is able to make money. My daughter was a scholarship athlete and I have no objections to some type of compensation as long as the average athlete and students also benefit in some way.

  34. Sounds fair, but then based on your premise, how is it fair ? Should all paid sports pay each team member equally or should each team member negotiate individually for her best economic outcome irrespective of the rest ?

  35. @Suburban Cowboy These are kids, not commodities. If one gets compensation, they all get compensation. They all commit to a practice and travel routine, and take classes. How much more pressure do you want to put on a 19 year old to prove "her best economic outcome" compared to teammates? It would ruin the "team."

  36. Prestige of a bit time sports program(s) on a campus of a state or a private university creates more than just tv revenue and operating expenses and wins and losses. It creates excitement, fandom , in other words demand, for tuition paying students to attend too. The value of that cachet is probably considered by the school’s regent and executive board. A great football legacy at a good school can generate generations of would-be regular student applicants ready to pay full freight on tuition etc.

  37. First with the current system all scholarship athletes get something in return, from the stars on the money making programs to the bench warmers on the 'non-revenue' sports. That can be worth a lot. Those athletes are on one year contracts which can be revoked by the head coach at their discretion. Plus a fair number of athletes get partial scholarships because the NCAA doesn't allow enough full scholarships to fully support a sport while Football can have over 80 scholarships. This legislation will allow stars to collect on their likeness and use their of. Some, only a few will gain from this. Not much differrent than in the pros where the stars get endorsements and the bench players get nothing. What really needs to change is the system where players are locked into a school for essentially their careers. (Yes they can transfer and loose a year of eligibility.) Coaches who have signed them are free to go when over and where ever they want. This doesn't release the student from their obligation. Coaches can be crooks in the system and leave then get another job at another institution. Players if they violate the rules can be cut out of further play. This makes just one small shift in the balance of power.

  38. What most politicians (like Gavin Newsom), reporters, and even college student-athletes are forgetting is that the people we are talking about are STUDENTS who are receiving scholarships that pay for tuition, room, board, and books in return for their participation in NCAA athletics. Many of these student athletes would not be able to attend college without the scholarship they already receive. In other words, they are already being paid for their participation in an NCAA sport and being given the opportunity to earn a college degree, which will economically benefit them in their post college lives.

  39. @vansaje I have taught some of these students. Those from more disadvantaged backgrounds don't have enough money to go out for pizza with teammates after practice. A colleague used to "lose" a $20 bill outside his office so that one particular student had some spending money in his pocket. Also, some of these students don't graduate. They were not college material to begin with, or they were just young and immature and could not balance athletics with academics, even with a reduced class load.

  40. @Kathleen Years ago, I was a TA at a Division 1 university in the Northeast. I recall the genuine anxiety of athletes who faced obstacles other students did not. In addition to grueling and often lengthy daily practices, they sometimes had to travel to the West Coast for games--extremely disruptive of their academic lives, especially during test times or weeks when papers were due. Their duties were far more exhausting, time consuming, and detrimental to their education than most student jobs--and a significant percentage did not graduate. Even then, the University made a great deal of money from many of their athletic programs. Let's face it--athletics has very little to do with a college education. So let's either pay these de facto professionals well or kick athletic off campus.

  41. @vansaje As in, here's some compensation, take it or leave it. Even though it represents far less than what it is valued.

  42. These small victories for socioeconomic justice help bring light to an otherwise grim world. The problem this CA ruling helped is another example of how capitalism run amok, desperately trying to take advantage of whatever and whoever it can. Market Forces and capitalism are not all good, quite to the contrary. Competition and capitalism can be good, but only when balanced with social and economic justice and well being.

  43. @SMcStormy Your left wing advocacy for allowing college athletes to be paid for endorsing products is hilariously irrational. You rail against capitalism but praise when it pays athletes to advertise its products. Apparently, you don't get enough advertising now to satisfy your craving for it. One result of this rule will be that the total amount of endorsement advertising will increase since the labor pool of well known athletes available to be hired as endorsers will substantially increase. This increase in the labor pool will drive down endorsement fees. That will make endorsement advertising cost less than it does now which will result in more endorsement advertising. I hope you enjoy the extra endorsement advertising. Personally, I find endorsement advertising insulting to the intelligence of the viewer and wish there were none at all.

  44. @Errol /honestly, I agree with most of what you said. I loath advertising. The point was that colleges and the organizations that run these sports (such as the NCAA, etc.) have been genuinely abusing student athletes at the cost of the student's grades and education, not to mention their physical and mental health. It would be different if it wasn't so blatant. Everyone's getting rich but the student athletes. Any change that alters that model has to be looked upon favorably. They are making zillions of dollars off these young people. Yeah, ok, the scholarships, but the student athletes are already mandated to do so much beyond just playing the sport.... Giving them a chance to do something, anything, to put a few bucks in their own pockets doesn't sound like a bad thing. Then again, this is but a tiny change that will only benefit the top, most popular players. We really just need to re-do the whole thing from the bottom up.

  45. Oh, well, if it is good for some women, then that is all that matters. There are meritorious arguments on both sides of the issue of college sports participants receiving compensation as result of their sports participation. But this argument that it is good for women is not one of them. If the assertion is accurate, then it is unfair to both players and student fans of men's football and basketball, the 2 sports which operate at a profit and whose income is required to be partially diverted to subsidize all the other money losing sports on campus, especially all the women's sports programs.

  46. It boggles the mind when universities with $100+ million sports budget still considered "non-profit" organizations, including Ms. Ohashi's school, UCLA, a state university! If you really want to address the white elephant in the room, sports at this level really have no business on a campus and are not a core mission of an educational institution.

  47. Not-for-profit , be it a school, a church, a charity or a think tank has not size criterium. Whether it is insolvent or has a trillion dollar endowment, once it has the IRS tax exempt status it keeps its dough without Uncle Sam’s cut.

  48. UCLA is one of the few schools whose revenue from the football and men's basketball programs exceeds expenses. But that doesn't mean the school is getting rich. That money goes elsewhere to balance the budget. In 2015, the UCLA women’s programs combined for $6.19 million in revenue to $18.51 million in expenses. That shortfall has to be made up somehow. No, college athletic programs are not cash cows. Of 90 NCAA championships in Division I, only 5 generate as money as they cost to run. The 85 others operate in the red. You can't look simply at revenue. You also have to look at expenses.

  49. @HistoryRhymes Agreed. I would further note that the NCAA system was not created for the type of big business that it has become. It was designed before multi-billion dollar TV contracts, multi-million dollar shoe endorsement, and multi-million dollar coaches. However, with that said, I believe that individual endorsements will only help the few star athletes to the detriment of others. There is no perfect solution to this mess. Even if you bring college sports back to the basics what do you do with all of those stadiums, facilities, and locker rooms? This will become a monster mess to unravel.

  50. Yesterday I noticed that Capital One, a bank holding company, now runs a coffee shop in downtown Chicago."Interesting development," I thought. It's what capital does; it colonizes, spreads to feed off all available profit centers. Education, art, health, social life--it doesn't matter how ill the fit, capital seizes on it, recreating it in its own image. This kerfuffle over California's new Fair Pay to Play Act is just another beachhead opened up in capital's steady march across our entire denuded landscape. We can't solve the problem until we stop getting worked up over the particular instances, the newest of capital's colonies, and seize on the principle: capitalism knows no bounds. If it has its way, it will buy your grandmother's bones, grind them down, and sell them back to you as baby powder--for a tidy little profit.

  51. Actually your facts are ok but your conclusions are askance. The beachhead is power of the people versus the power of the NCAA oligopoly. It is the proletariat athlete using the market tools against the owners of capital and makers of rules.

  52. @Suburban Cowboy The power of the people to play the same game as the capitalists? So now each person is his own "brand," able to sell him or her self on an open market, a market built at the center of American education. That's not opposition; that co-opting the opposition.

  53. Yes, it is co-opting for the fortunate few who might be in a position to do so. It is turning the tables inside this industry, it is not revolutionizing income inequality as a social justice warrior.

  54. I find it interesting that so many people think giving the students an education is equal to the amount these billionaires are making. I can’t understand why arguments are made to keep the rich in power and keep everyone else subservient to them. If a student on a college scholarship can write a book/song or create an art piece and market it, why can’t everyone? It’s no different. It’s not about the money for the athletes. It’s about not allowing someone else to profit from what they do.

  55. The student who writes a book or song isn't competing against other students. They are free to play by their own rules in the open market. Student-athletes, on the other hand, compete against each other on a national level. There are rules in place that allow fair competition among member institutions. So yes, it is different. We need to appreciate the distinction to avoid false equivalencies. There is no amateur model of student-authors. There is no tournament in March for student-artists. As for not allowing CBS to profit from televising the men's basketball tournament, how would that work?

  56. I see this as a question of treating students differently from nonstudents. Athletes and non athletes. The same rules should apply to both in all circumstances. If a student on a research “team” at a university makes a discovery that can be monetized, are they universally forbidden from doing this? Can’t all of these issues be dealt with by having students sign contracts with their universities when they are accepted on a “team”?

  57. Actually, many schools and even professors force students to relinquish their ownership interests in the laboratories and academic work. Most businesses do the same with what you develop intellectually while in their employ. There are plenty of examples where faculty and institutions have grown rich on students’ input and output without a dime going to the student.

  58. @Suburban Cowboy And they aren't in any way reasonably compensating grad students - the absolute workhorses of the actual university system. (As in...not the gym.)

  59. Someone is getting greedy here. Let's be honest: there's no money in gymnastics. I despise the athletics department, but if we're truly running it with the free market principle that everyone gotta financially justify their existence, gymnastics will be the first one to go (if you're thinking Title IX, the school can pay more for woman basketball, which is more fun).

  60. With the exception of Football teams and some male Basketball teams, all NCAA athletic teams lose money. So no one is making money off of the 95% of NCAA athletes.

  61. Exactly! Folks hand wring about what kind of advantages could accrue to well funded programs, but only the athletes have to suffer, everyone else gets to make money, including staff and coaches and corporations.

  62. The athletes have no idea what it costs to maintain the facilities they play in, pay top coaches, travel to compete, or run their competitive events (to name a few expenses). They will now have to assume a share of the costs. And if their sport does not generate enough revenue they will be shocked to learn their sport may be dropped.

  63. @Joan Vickewrs Sure they do but the biggest area that college athletes are being cheated is when it comes to the Coach and the AD who in the major sports make millions and sometimes tens of millions of dollars. Even in sports that do not make any money the coach will often make 250k to 750k a year. For instance, if Alabama took half of Nick Saban's yearly salary(4 million) and distributed it to the players, they each would have been paid 50k this season.

  64. While I think these persons are grossly overpaid , so are CEOs. And if we examine the value the coach brings to the development of the players, then these educators DO earn their keep, don’t they ? For example, if a so so football player with little NFL potential blossoms into a $50,000,000 career under the tutelage of a high paid coach , then wasn’t a service in development of talent achieved ?

  65. @Joan Vickewrs All the while, the US university system, which used to be our crown jewel, is in decline. Academic programs fight like mad over 'table scraps' of grants and federal funding for very legitimate research. The US? We are worried about some 20 year old athletes make a few bucks from their image. Because this is the pressing question of our times. Sure.

  66. I thought the purpose of college was to learn? It would not upset me in any way to do away with all college sports. Let the NFL and the NBA run their own pony teams. Do away with high paid coaches, athletic facilities that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and bring the cost of college way down. We would all win.

  67. Ohashi received an education worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. She also undoubtedly received other perqs reserved for athletes. In general, the only college sports that make money are division I football and men's basketball - there are some Division I women's basketball programs that make money, but they are very few. Gymnastics is actually a money-losing sport, subsidized by the few money-making sports and/or by student fees and tuition. Thus, Ohashi's argument that everyone else is making money is inaccurate. She is actually benefitting from the dollars generated by others.

  68. @Robert Rosenthal, Ph.D. Sure, but not at market level. She, in essence, is an employee of the university. Unlike other scholarship majors.

  69. @Robert Rosenthal, Ph.D. and what value is that education when they are having to attend gymnastics practices on a daily basis for several hours a day, travel to/from competitions, in a university setting that otherwise would be challenging for them even if they did not have the gymnastics commitment? You don't need to go further than the personal trainer ranks at a local gym or the counter people at a Hertz location to see where many Division 1 student athletes end up working, having graduated with degrees that virtually worthless.

  70. @wc How does it refute Rosenthal's argument that she is an employee of the University when you admit that other scholarships are for other majors? As an employee, she was paid in kind (paid via her education, if she chose to actually receive one). Or, was she just bouncing around in tights for 4 years and accepting a degree without really getting an education that a degree is to represent?

  71. Equality- if a non-student can earn money on the side for creativity, or using their likeness etc as the gymnast mentioned, but she cannot— that is wrong. Universities shouldn’t be making that money, the student should. Money- If athletes make money, they need to lose their athletic scholarships, because non-student athletes do not have the advantage of student athletes’ access to the media etc. Who’s more famous - the top college player or some student who is merely a student.

  72. Reality check - UCLA isn’t making a dime off of the gymnastics program. In fact, the program looses money for the university and is subsidized by the programs that do generate profit (football, basketball). Ms. Ohashi’s floor routine going viral was a fluke and not indicative of the sudden public interest in college gymnastics. Her compensation is the 6 figure education that she didn’t have to pay for.

  73. @The Libertine , why are you assuming she was there on a full ride? Many college athletes don’t get athletic scholarships. If they earn academic scholarships, as I’m sure a good handful do, do you have an issue with that?

  74. @The Libertine Are you saying the Ms. Ohashi is not being cheated, but the football players are?

  75. The idea that the mission of a university, is to first and foremost educate all its students, and treat the involvement of its students in sports as an extracurricular activity is long gone. Sports programs at universities that have big-time football and basketball operations are business operations. The students who participate are full time employees and part time students. As such they should be compensated.

  76. @Paul The primary mission of a University is the discovery of knowledge. The secondary mission is the dissemination of knowledge (through professing, publications, presentations, etc). The tertiary mission is service to the discipline, the University, etc.

  77. Courts have long established that student-athletes are not employees (and for that reason are not covered by workers compensation). Simply declaring that the NCAA's amateur model is long gone doesn't make it so.

  78. I’m sorry, but I absolutely disagree with the new law. Athletes, most of whom participate in sports only a handful of people watch and which bring in no money to the University, knew what they were getting when they signed up...a free education (if they chose to take advantage of it) and the opportunity to be seen by the wider world, at least in the marquee sports. As a scientist, while I was in school I basically got peanuts and spent years making my mentors look good, that’s the way it works in most fields, including sports. There is a difference, though, given that most professors at universities actually bring in more money than they spend through indirect cost grant subsidies to the institutions. Sports, on the other hand, do not. In study after study, it has been shown that almost all universities, even those with large television contracts, spend more in their athletic programs than they receive in direct revenue, and that even when there is a net plus, it rarely makes its way out of the athletic departments. The real problem is that regardless of the potential for revenue for schools or athletes, sports at their current collegiate level exist for other reasons than simply the love of the game. I’d be a huge fan if schools used sports revenue and donors to reduce tuition costs. They don’t. If athletes want to be professionals instead of students they should do so. Currently they use the university for exposure for their later careers, if they’re successful.

  79. You’re missing the point of the law. It’s not that college athletes will be paid by the schools: it’s that the athletes will be able to make money by, for instance, endorsing Wheaties. There’s no reason a person shouldn’t be able to make money if their fame is such that someone wants them to sell their product. Right now, that money is going to the NCAA, and that’s not right.

  80. @VKG It's wrong to equate any intellectual type of pursuit with any physical one. The human body has many more limits on it than the human mind and as a scientist, you didn't risk breaking your neck or legs to compete.

  81. @RCJCHC they chose to do this, and it offers them a forum to develop their skills into a profession, should they succeed. I also think you underestimate the demo ads of intellectual pursuits. All of this only applies to a few athletes in a few sports.

  82. A college athlete could consider looking at some books and getting an education while getting a free ride at a university. then they could get a job. I've heard back in the old days this was done, not infrequently.

  83. Except we no longer live in the olden days.

  84. @InMN Only because being a college athlete is no longer considered a path to a high priced education and a career afterward based on a degree. Some how it's been put up as just a step to a life as a millionaire celeb career.

  85. @AT , your comment is extremely disingenuous and stereotypes all college athletes as “dumb jocks” who don’t want to earn a degree. The “dumb jock” assumption is the exception rather than the rule.

  86. Athletes shouldn’t be paid, and coaches and every staff should be volunteer from college staff. One of the most common names for High School teacher is Coach. Let that be in college as well. Nobody gets paid.

  87. How should of these coaches support themselves? They need to do more than just stand on the sidelines during games/performances.

  88. Not happening in the real world.

  89. UCLA's tuition, room and board, books and fees are about $30,000 per year for in-state students and over $55,000 for out-of-state students. That is good pay for part-time work.

  90. @Jack You're asking the wrong question(s). The issue is not "are they getting a good deal?" but rather "Should they be allowed to make money for their efforts?" and the related question of "Should money made by their efforts accrue to the athletes themselves or to other people or institutions not held to the same standard?" The first question, in capitalist America, has been answered affirmatively in virtually every other sphere of our economy. The second is an issue of fairness--other college students (many of whom receive aid or scholarships) don't have their potential earnings limited or capped, why should these athletes be any different?

  91. Not even close to what the schools are taking in.

  92. @Jack There is nothing parttime about being a college athlete. They are fulltime workers who go to school on the side.

  93. In my daughter's high school years her dance team had to practice at 5am if they wanted gym use because the guys had it at 6am until 9pm. The money wasn't there to send them to their competitions because it was all going to support the football team. Don't tell me that it's equal and by the time they hit college, they've made their choice. We need to support female athletic pursuits EVEN if they don't bring in as much money to the colleges. That discrepancy was set up hundreds of years ago when women weren't allowed to vote or run for office or own property. See it as restitution.

  94. Almost all of these comments do not address the real issue. If you sign an NCAA scholarship agreement you are forced to give up your rights of publicity. Your rights as an individual to control the commercial use of one's identity, such as name, image, likeness, or other unequivocal identifiers. Why? And not only forced to give them up, you are forced to give those rights to the NCAA that then sell them for millions of dollars. Now, I could see an athlete not being able to profit from their likeness while in school, but they should never be forced to give them away to the NCAA. So no one should be profiting from a college students likeness and when they leave school they should retain the rights to their own identity.

  95. I got to stick around my college an extra semester because some guy who you have never heard of could throw a baseball 90 mph. He was on academic probation but got pre registered for a class I needed to graduate. I think the baseball team that year won 19 games and lost 24.

  96. The people commenting need to watch and video to learn about the law. It doesn't require student-athletes to get paid a salary. It allows them to profit off of their image and exploit their marketability. For instance, the woman featured in the video missed out on marketing deals when her gymnastic floor routine went viral. Because of NCAA rules, she was prohibited from any endorsements. Everyone is allowed to make a buck off of these athletes instead of the athletes themselves! If you or your kid was one of these athletes, you may have a different opinion though.

  97. My visceral response is simple. No play no pay. Bar professional sports agents from campus. If college athletics is a career then eliminate the pretense of being student athletes. When a "career" player is removed from the team no pay. No scholarships, no tears just another employee NOT A STUDENT. Eliminate the tax breaks given to athletic foundations, the NCAA and no public monies. Let the media and professional teams pay the bills.

  98. Many of these kids are there for the Athletics, not the education. Universities are disingenuous to state otherwise. The entire model needs to change so that the athletes get compensated, that are being severely taken advantage of. And don't forget that most don't go on to become pros.

  99. Universities should be primarily about education, this is after all how it works in the rest of the world - I still find it quite shocking how pressured and commercialised the college system for sport is in the USA. In the UK, sport is a vital component of the university experience but it is down to the individual sports and their governing bodies to put in the infrastructure to develop young talent - this leaves universities free to focus on education and avoid the corrupting influence of all that sport-related money sloshing around. I'd be interested in any views as to whether the US college sport system benefits the athletes and universities more than systems elsewhere. It clearly benefits sponsors, as well as the NFL/NBA by giving them a free production line of young talent.

  100. The overriding purpose of universities is to learn. The overriding purpose of big-time university athletics is to entertain. Universities are getting closer to amusing themselves to death—just like the rest of the culture.

  101. Not feeling the empathy here. Colleges, especially public universities, should not be in the sports business at all.

  102. Providing a scholarship to an athlete should not negate their rights to make money off their likeness. These athletes have exceptional talent and a formidable work ethic in a sport that many of us, myself included, don’t. As a result, people like these athletes. In fact, some people adore them. So shouldn’t they be able to sell their signatures, sign a shoe deal, or contract with a company to shoot a commercial to profit off the likeness that they have worked to earn without being punished for it? I don’t see why not. Some people, however, don’t believe this is right. It might be some form of resentment or jealousy, I’m not sure. But I can say that it’s not based on the Lockean principle that the fruits of one’s labor are one’s own because one worked for it.

  103. @Kyle Again, if that's the case we should also be compensating student researchers fair market value. We don't. It would be WAY more expensive than paying student athletes. This is a very slippery slope and one that doesn't have to be traversed because sports literally have nothing to do with getting a college education.

  104. Respectfully, you’re missing the point. Almost any person, including non-student athletes,can go on the street, sign a piece of paper, and sell that paper for $100. How many buyers they will have is a question of likeness. The people that are prohibited from doing so are college athletes. Take, for example, Johnny Manziel who was suspended for having knowledge that his signatures might be sold. That is my point. Any person should have the right to make money of their likeness and currently some people can’t.

  105. @Kyle I don't disagree. But, I think it may be too tough a row to hoe to say that students who are famous because a university allowed them to become so should be making money - particularly if they are also receiving scholarships. I'm not sure how purely academic students in generally underfunded departments are supposed to respect any of this. I don't see it being anything other than highly disenfranchising.

  106. Are we going to give academic students the chance to earn from their achievements? If a medical research student has a breakthrough utilizing labs and resources of a university, who gets the profits? Where is the line? It seems to me that if athletes are being paid, then certainly academics should be. University is far more about academics than athletics and students and researchers should probably be taken care of first. Besides, sports is chump change compared to whats out there to be made on medications and devices.

  107. @Lauren That’s actually a pretty good idea and would help to enable the next generation of scientists to remain in academia while producing public goods using your tax dollars!

  108. @JJR I mean, my tax dollars already fund R&D for several big money pharma researchers so I don't actually have a problem with that.

  109. Fine! as long as those athletes that cost universities money so that they can play their sport will pay their costs, take out a student athlete loan so that they can pay all of the expenses of playing their sport—equipment, uniforms, practice field and stadium costs, everything, every dime.

  110. So, you want to charge the student for the money the program made?

  111. Most of the comments on here show a lack of understanding of the rules around college athletics. The rules the NCAA put in place make the athletes second class citizens on campus in so many ways. For instance, as a former NCAA runner, I was prevented from earning an income coaching at camps. If I had made an international meet, I couldn't accept the stipend, travel money or other items that came along with that qualification (unlike the non-NCAA athletes). The vast majority of the people I know in the "Olympic" sports didn't even receive a full scholarship. I know an actual Olympian who attended on a 1/16 scholarship. For that 1/16 scholarship he was forced to follow all these rules, which applied to no other students on campus, and provided great exposure for the University on a global scale. All of the above is in support of an organization that makes billions and for coaches who make up to millions. All athletes are asking is to be treated like everyone else on campus. That shouldn't be too much to ask.

  112. The only college sports that generate a profit are D1 men's sports--and then only basketball and football, and only a top tier of those teams do that. Therefore, it's difficult to understand how "everyone" but Ms. Ohashi made money off of her collegiate career. California's initiative will undercut efforts at gender equity.

  113. @Killoran Spot on comment. As for college athlete's tales of woe: If the public at large could see close up the perks that student athletes receive (it goes well beyond tuition and books), this topic would not be being debated. As a former sports writer who actually had to work my way through school, I know this: Being a college athlete is a great gig.

  114. Times have changed!!! IF THEY ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE MONEY, OFFERS MIGHT BE MADE!!! My husband was given $15 per month in a D1 team to do his laundry in the 70s...that was it! If you are a student/athlete from a family of low means, you cannot afford to go out for pizza with friends. CHANGES MUST BE MADE...YES, their education is ‘free’ BUT at what cost?

  115. @Laura Ann Yes, Laura Ann. A uniform rule allowing universities to reinstate a monthly stipend such as your husband received (but a good deal larger) would make a lot of sense. Students from low income families on athletic scholarships should be allowed to experience the life of a regular college student. The late Dean Smith ( legendary UNC basketball coach) used to regularly campaign for reinstatement of such a benefit, all to no avail.

  116. The main point being missed. The NCAA prevents athletes from making money outside their sport. Athletes that had small businesses before college had to give up there business even if they declined their scholarship to continue to be on an NCAA team. Engineers on scholarship are allowed to work outside of school and file for patents. Actors act. Athletes aren't allowed same freedom and rights as the student body because of the NCAA. Let them work outside of school.

  117. I have no problem with athletes making money on their likeness. I do see some issues in the locker room for team sports when a few of them are getting paid and most are not. Especially if it is a hot shot freshmen that hasn't even seen the field doing car dealership commercials. But the issue I have with this opinion piece is the title. It has been widely known for years that football and men's basketball are the funding sources for all of the other sports. So no one, let alone everyone, is making money off a college gymnast.

  118. @Chaz Like many things that have "been widely known for years," that factiod is wrong. The majority of Div I schools lose more just on football than they spend on, for example, all womens sports combined. Monetarily, most FBS and FCS schools would come out ahead by dropping football entirely.

  119. @Chaz Again: Olympics.

  120. The money universities make from athletics is used to fund research and provide scholarships to those who can’t throw a football with their only skill is being super smart. All of these student athletes are free to quit school and go pro at anytime. If the quarterback is allowed to market himself during his college career then how about that money go into a fund that helps finance the women’s water polo team?

  121. @Brando Flex The fact that most collegiate athletic teams, including football and basketball cost more than they earn would suggest otherwise.

  122. @Brando Flex actually you are wrong. The money athletics makes at a university does NOT go into research of any kind. It goes back to all athletics. So while the football team makes a lot of money that money goes back to football and softball, and basketball, and soccer, etc., and those facilities. The universities then fund raise off those teams to alums and thereby helps to fund themselves. Research is funded through grants by researchers and professors through federal agencies and private interests. Scholarships are not funded to general students through athletics but for student-athletes and only athletes in revenue producing sports like football and basketball get full scholarships. Everyone else like soccer players are getting partial scholarships--so like the soccer team gets $50,000 for 20 players and the money is distributed among them all.

  123. I’d be among the last to defend the NCAA, its illogical and unfair rules, and the whole system of Division I intercollegiate sports. But the claim that a free education that, with free room & board and books, probably runs in the range of $60,000 a year, together with free coaching, isn’t compensation seems flat out wrong to me. There’s much wrong with intercollegiate sports, but the move to further “professionalize” them is the absolute opposite direction true reform should go.

  124. @Cinclow20 So perhaps the answer is that if the college athletes make so much money with their own endorsements, they can repay their college scholarships and keep what's left over? I haven't thought through all the implications, but it doesn't seem right that the students should have no right to any income at all. Isn't there a compromise in there somewhere? A new compensation scheme that takes into account the school's scholarship contribution and the student's endorsements? Just asking.

  125. @Cinclow20 No question may college athletes are getting a great deal in return for their talents, but for those few exceptions who are worth more than their scholarships, they should be able to cash in on their image rights. Think of the hundreds of gymnasts who are not quite good enough to make the Olympics, or the decent football player whose been great for your team but will not make the NFL.

  126. @Cinclow20 To suggest that 'free" education is fair compensation for performing as an athlete overlooks what is at issue. In all parts of our economy every person is permitted to negotiate for their services the hallmark of a free market system. One need only look at the salaries paid collegiate, athletic coaches versus the salaries of faculty members at the same institutions to see the results. If one wants to view Free" education as compensation one must also place a value on what the athlete a.k.a. the employee brings to the institution(s)

  127. Many founders of the new tech companies started building their applications in college, many of them on scholarships, but they didn’t have to turn over their applications, built on systems the colleges provided, to the college (or associations of collages). So why should an athlete have to turn over the fruits of their efforts to the college to benefit from? When I went to UCLA, there were a number of products with Bill Walton’s name, picture or number available there. The university benefited by selling them, Bill didn’t. The university also benefited from all of the tickets they sold and the publicity generated by their athletics teams/individuals. And it was not like he only played basketball, he studied and took some hard classes. Where does the University of Alabama rank in education? Not all that high. Yet it is constantly talked about at this time of year, with lovely portraits of it on national tv almost every weekend. How does “one and done” benefit the athletes, educationally, who move into the NBA after only one year? Does the school benefit from having that rising star there? You betcha. The law is limited in its scope and offers restitution for the athletes for their efforts. Ms. Ohashi, with her brilliant performance, should have some rights for her work and representation and not have all of the proceeds from that work go to the school or NCAA.

  128. Ohashi receive a free education at UCLA, worth more than $200,000, which would be a dream come true for millions of young Americans. She did this playing a sport she presumably loves with the fame and glory of being a national success. Claiming that she is a victim is nonsense.

  129. @jck She's not saying that she's a victim. She's pointing out that the system is broken. She and other NCAA athletes are prevented from making a cent off their *own image* in the free market, with the threat of losing scholarships and eligibility.

  130. @jck your so called free education cost her hundreds of hours of training, time away from class, traveling all over the country representing the entity or UCLA, and not able to make any money during the off season as an athlete or even talk to anyone to set herself up post graduation. Did she receive a scholarship? Yep. But often student athletes in non-revenue sports like gymnastics don't get FULL scholarships, only partial ones. Allowing these student athletes to sell their likenesses is fine--that's on them to try to get.

  131. @North Carolina ...and it's worth noting that only 59% of those participating as NCAA student-athletes are on scholarship, yet they are subject to the same income restrictions as those getting full rides and luxury accomodations.

  132. Do all of you who object to student athletes having control over their own names and likenesses, as does every other college student, understand the HEADLINE? How would YOU like it if people and organizations were profiting from your talent (or your child's), while handcuffing you in a way that prevented YOU from making a dime? Did you watch the video? The bookstores are allowed to sell merchandise associated with a student athlete, and the student athlete gets nothing but a scholarship? Until there are no college sports (LOL), these kids deserve agents and attorneys.

  133. Why is anyone making money off students athletes?

  134. @Michael Because money is made...the question is who benefits?

  135. LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar both announced their support for this new law. I wonder how different the comments would be had they had authored an opinion piece like this, rather than a female college gymnast.

  136. College athletes are supposed to be students who play sports, not employees of professional sports teams. That's why they don't get paid. I played in my college orchestra. I didn't get paid for the orchestra's performances, although when I free-lanced as a musician I was paid. Why wasn't I paid for my orchestra work? Because I was a student-musician, just as these folks are, at least in theory, student-athletes. If college athletes want to be paid, treat them as professionals, not as students. Give them contracts, deem them employees -- and bar them from classrooms.

  137. @Ben the idea is not to compensate them for playing for their teams or the school, but to allow them to seek endorsements from playing on those teams which are seen by millions on television. That's more in line with what you did as a freelance musician. What the NCAA is doing is saying that because you play in the school orchestra you cannot have a job as a studio musician, cut a song, sell a song, play as a freelance musician or do anything that brings in money to you directly because you are considered an amateur musician. Meanwhile the school charges money for the concert, fundraises off the orchestra and music you create, and profits from it. Get it?

  138. @Ben I took my son to see his favorite college team. The tickets for the game cost $250. My son also wanted team merchandise from the bookstore, which is the de facto pro shop. Nowhere did I see merchandise for the school orchestra. I spent an additional $400 on team related items. I have yet to see a broadcast of a college orchestra on a major network. I have yet to see colleges sign into a multi billion dollar contract to broadcast college orchestras, or to see a college orchestra sign a multi million dollar deal with an apparel or shoe company. Unlike college athletics, as noble as they are, music programs in colleges do not generate, but more than likely may be at least partially funded by money generated from college sports. For these athletes the emphasis is always on sports, with academics being a distant second, unless the player gets injured. Then they are suddenly expected to perform academically. I personally look at college sports as a huge business enterprise. There are college coaches whose compensation eclipses that of professional sport coaches. It is a modern day slave system where the athletes are totally exploited

  139. @Bill Tell you what, Bill. Try this. Go on Amazon.com, type in "university band" or "university orchestra," search under "CDs and vinyl," and then see if you still hold the same opinion. I'd be willing to wager not a single one of the student-musicians who played on those recordings got so much as one red cent. But the schools that signed the recording contracts made plenty.

  140. Many people seem to be missing the point here. Ohashi's video got millions of views, and airtime on shows like "Ellen" and countless retweets on celebrity Twitter accounts. The NCAA prevents athletes like Ohashi from capitalizing on their popularity. She's not demanding money from the school, she's pointing out the broken system in which athletes' scholarships and eligibility are conditional on them never making a cent for their own likeness and popularity.

  141. @Rebecca It would lead to non-compensated athletes putting themselves above the team. If I can earn money from YouTube from dunking a basket, why pass the ball to my teammate to win the game? If I have 50% probability of scoring with a dunk vs 100% probability of scoring via a pass; I will dunk every time (no worse off if miss, make money if I succeed). Fix the scholarship programs so that student-athletes can graduate in the field of their choice even if they are injured or prevented from taking tough classes due to practice schedules. This will quickly unravel, as social media encourages narcissism. There is a reason rowing is the "football" of the ivy league (meaning top recruited sport). To succeed, you need to work as a team - one cannot distinguish individual contribution within the shell. Businesses want the person who helped the crew team succeed, not the narcissist who did a touchdown dance that was viral on YouTube.

  142. @James - You don't actually know that. We don't see all professional athletes put themselves above the team for endorsement deals or other compensation for their likeness? Moreover, some sports are individual - such as tennis - or that have more individual components - such as gymnastics - where your concern doesn't apply. California's law strikes a good balance between allowing an athlete to receive compensation while still a student and not forcing schools to pay them outright. While it does disrupt the business of college sports, that isn't a bad thing.

  143. @James No one really cares if you dunk every game but are on a losing team

  144. It would be interesting to know how many fans made money, among those who pay to attend events and to purchase gear with the university's logo and colors. As well, it would also be interesting to know how many taxpayers made money, among those who pay taxes to support universities and colleges. Does Nike or Adidas pay them for saying "I'm a fan or a taxpayer (often, both) and I wear Nike/Adidas shoes"???

  145. High level college sports are really professional sports masqueraded at amateur . . . so the participants don't get paid.

  146. @John Doe You mean "don't get paid....except for free tuition, room, board, and $12,000 expense dollars every year". That's a lot of money dude. Ever sent a kid to college and paid for it? Try it. Then imagine they get to go to the school, and you don't have to pay a dime. Then you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's life-changing.

  147. Ah, I hate to go against the grain here, but football players will probably be the only ones that make a nickel off that bill. and certainly not gymnasts or soccer players

  148. @Ryan Bingham Think it through. It is very likely that athletes will "make a dime" at at least the same rate as the student body as a whole (and probably higher), and that's a pretty substantial number.

  149. @Ryan Bingham One word; Olympics

  150. How about we dump college sports altogether? What does all that noise have to do with education? What started as students having fun has metastasized into something obscene.

  151. Not only should "student"-athletes be allowed to earn money; they should also be paid by their colleges and universities. And the onerous requirement that they enrol in coursesd, and attend classes, should be dropped. Let them be free to be the paid entertainers they deserve to be! Let their salaries be part of the public relations costs of their institutions.

  152. @Lifelong Democrat Free tuition. Do you have kids that went to college, and if so did you pay for it? The full tuition room and board? Katelyn and other scholarship athletes get this for free-- they are paid in-kind, to the likes of $250k AFTER TAX dollars, equal to $400k+ in California earned income.

  153. Actually someone anyone needs to explain why the colleges & Universities are in sports above the intramural league level? When the highest paid state employee in just about every state is a coach? Well I have to say I think we have a problem. When the question isn't whether a big name school has violated the rules but how many schools? With corruption, fake classes for athletes, it isn't if the corruption is there it's how bad is it? Bluntly colleges are supposed to exist to educate, not provide a farm league for pro sports or spectacle every Sunday. College sports contributes zip zero zilch to that mission & have no business in our schools? One last note for those who claim the scholarship is a great deal. Do you know what happens to a student who is injured and unable to play for more then a short time. Your out by the beginning of the next semester don't let the doorknob hit you on the way out tough luck. At least if he was on a job he would workman's comp or severance. In the world of athletics it's tough luck get lost.

  154. @Stephan ...and in several states do you know who is the 2nd highest paid state employee? An assistant coach—the Offensive Coordinator.

  155. Ms. Ohashi WAS paid for her athletic accomplishments. She received a full scholarship from the University of California at Los Angeles. In other words, she received a $160,000 college education FOR FREE. We mere mortals had to PAY for our educations, or (even worse) we had to take out LOANS that we will spend most of our lives repaying. Sports at any level (high school, college, or pro) are MASS ENTERTAINMENT. If people don't watch, then no one cares. They are not curing cancer or building bridges. Sports at the high school and college level are extra-curricular activities. That means you are a student first, an athlete second. Athletes DO NOT have the "right" to be paid or otherwise compensated. You got a scholarship. Say "thank you" and be grateful.

  156. @Jack Connolly If a student on academic scholarship at UCLA decided to become a model, she would not have her scholarship revoked if she made money off of her image. Why should Ohashi or any college athletes be held to a different standard? UCLA gave her a scholarship to signal a mutually beneficial relationship. Yet, when Ohashi "went viral", she was not allowed to cash in, while UCLA got who knows how much press/coverage/interest from her accomplishments. If student athletes are "students first" then they should have the right to cash in on their accomplishments without fear of NCAA retribution.

  157. @Jack Connolly Bullseye! I just finished paying $250,000 for my son's tuition for 4 years at Northwestern.

  158. @Jack Connolly "We mere mortals'...… You really mean "average Joe" like most of us who did not excel personally or exceptionally to a level that would attract commercial success through endorsements, giving presentations, or other business interests while we were still students. College athletes fulfill their scholarship obligations by participating in the programs for which they were chosen and by meeting their academic responsibilities. For the few that manage to rise to exemplary success, beyond that, there is no reason they can't profit if an entity other than the college is willing to pay. It is not costing, you personally, or the college any more. In capitalist America, excellence and personal achievement should have its rewards.

  159. The data of every person in America is exploited by technology giants - Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Instagram, are commonly mentioned. I have discovered that every. site. I. visit. has a hook back to Facebook embedded in it. It is not right that the NCAA takes away the right of students to own their own names, images, and performances. In order to participate in any of this we are forced to "sign away" our rights, sometimes with paper contracts, sometimes just by the act of visiting a website. There are no options for discussing or changing those contracts by any little person. It is a David-and-Goliath battle, and one that we can't possibly win. It is unethical and immoral for any corporation or organization to use any attribute of a private individual for their own profit. We have become Corporate America home of Citizens United rather than America the home of the free.

  160. Good for the California law...it is long overdue. The NCAA obsolete and needs to be abolished. Its hypocrisy is breathtaking when seeing many of its decisions regarding "protection" of sports integrity. Big name schools, TV advertisers and company endorsements have way too much influence and are the real power brokers.

  161. The free ride to college is worth something.

  162. Katelyn Ohashi showed our girls and our country how to stand up for what's right by choosing UCLA as her forum - with a coach who inspired and supported her - instead of a brutal pressure cooker environment. Now she's standing up to do the right thing again. Well done.

  163. @common sense advocate - Ohashi has it totally backwards. She made a large amount of money for herself in the form of a scholarship to a great university. The university made no money from her as women's gymnastics, as with all women's sports, is a money loser. If the California Act goes into law there will be no women's sports, as fans will be turned off from supporting football and men's basketball due to the heavy amounts of money from boosters from large football programs such as Alabama. With football and men's basketball eliminated there will be no women's sports. Is that what you want?

  164. @common sense advocate Katelyn Ohashi was ranked the #1 gymnast in the world when she was 12 or 13. She continued to compete with broken bones in her back, and a torn up shoulder. She was exploited by many around women's gymnastics, including a predatory doctor. She was scrutinized and ostracized because she did not fit the body shape of the typical gymnast, despite performing at a high level. She left international gymnastics and joined UCLA/Collegiate gymnastics, which allowed her to regain the joy of her sport, while getting an education. Her story and her talent no doubt raised the profile of UCLA gymnastics, collegiate gymnastics in general, and UCLA as a University. Many people have profited from Ms. Ohashi's talent, and her courage. College athletes are exploited by the professional sports they serve as feeder programs for. The financial benefits are often realized before turning pro. Everyone knows this, and turns a blind eye. Why do people object to Ms. Ohashi's advocacy? Her you tube videos could earn her a fortune.

  165. You go gurl! The NCAA and its enablers are exploiting you and all of the other college athletes for their own enrichment. Tear it down.

  166. I'm sorry but no sympathy from me. You are doing what you love to do and getting a free scholarship to boot. Be grateful that you have worked and have a talent that most of us dream of having. Nobody forced you into this, you chose this path. Im tired of hearing people choose something and then complain afterwards of the cons. if you don't like it go to Mcdonalds and get paid!

  167. @D These kids' talent is being used to make other people a lot of money. We supposedly live in a meritocracy, don't they deserve adequate compensation for what they bring in? The "be grateful your doing something you love and others would love to do" argument is unfair to anyone who has trained hard enough to reach the top levels of collegiate sports.

  168. @D It's no longer as simple as that. Coaches, colleges, conferences, athletic apparel giants (Nike, UnderArmour, etc) get super rich from those athletes' hard work. The athletes essentially do free advertising for the universities and athletic apparel companies. Old adults depend on the hard work of young adult athletes for their paychecks, with higher rewards for winning championships. This has created the high-pressure, high-stakes, high-profit seeking machine of college athletics. It's not like olden days of yore when student athletes could leisurely play the sport they love outside of classes. Now, the athletes are moneymakers for the bigger machine but not compensated. This is a troubling power dynamic, given that the majority of coaches are older white men, and they recruit athletes from all types of backgrounds---not just rich kids, but also commonly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds that are trying to increase their income potential through athletics. And let's not get started on potential occupational hazards, i.e., concussions, which have emerged as a health issue that have life-long or life-ending consequences. If they get hurt before they can go pro, then that can be very economically and emotionally devastating. Coaches/schools/conferences/athletic apparel companies/other sponsors simply need to acknowledge that they depend on these athletes to make a profit, and then to give them a healthy share of the earnings.

  169. @D You get no sympathy from me. NCAA college athletes are singled out as a subset of the much larger number of such gifted, talented people who are "doing what they love and getting a free scholarship to boot" but—as mathematicians or musicians instead of athletes, are able be paid for use of their talents outside of school. It isn't the concept or principle, it's solely the billions of dollars the NCAA and its schools schools can make from this particular set of talents, that is the fundamental reason for trying to keep the benefits of these talents to themselves. (By the way, I wasn't the athlete in this story; I was the musician who made a little spending money by tutoring, giving grade schoolers lessons and, in small groups, entertaining at Christmas parties.)

  170. The California law doesn't go into effect until 2023, which gives the NCAA plenty of time to come to come to some sort of compromise with California and other states considering going the same route. It was obvious the current system presided over by the NCAA and run by schools operating in lockstep is rotten to the core with decades of capricious behavior on their part over athlete's finances and eligibility status and there was absolutely no chance that the stonewalling was going to stop, so California's action puts a sword over their heads and is going to force the NCAA and schools to start sharing benefits generated by athletes or watch their own demise. If the pun can be excused, the ball is in their court.

  171. There are almost a half million athletes that compete on NCAA sanctioned teams. The number of athletes that would actually make money with their images if allowed to do so is a minuscule percentage of this number. You don’t have to worry about these athletes that would make money from their images, they are already making a lot of money under the table. My father used to coach in the Canadian Football League. When he signed players he used to ask them, “how does it feel to take a cut in salary?“ He got some pretty good stories after saying that line. What is completely lost in this discussion is how money in the NCAA is misappropriated and we are not taking care of the rest of the half million athletes that are competing. If the money that the NCAA makes from television and ticket revenues were evenly distributed amongst all the teams and colleges then most athletic programs would not be operating under a deficit budget and we would not have this absurd salary structure for a few coaches that make an obscene amount of money and most coaches barely making a living salary. There are many problems with how the NCAA spends their money. Not paying athletes beyond their scholarship isn’t really one of them.

  172. There is a legitimate argument that the coaching a student receives is valuable and scholarship certainly provides some balance as payment for the playing of the game. However, the money made from merchandising is another thing. It has little to do with the game on the field or court and is very much about the name on the jersey. To me it seems fair for an athlete to expect some piece of the merchandising coin. The NCAA missed the bus on this years ago and they are too embarrassed (or their lawyers are sounding alarms) to do the right thing now.

  173. I'm pretty sure she knew the boundary conditions when she signed up.

  174. @Mtnman1963 I am also sure that Rosa Parks knew the conditions on the bus as well. The point is that she sees an unfair system and is speaking out against it.

  175. @Mtnman1963 doesn't prevent her from supporting change

  176. @Mtnman1963 Look of the term 'Contract of Adhesion' and then think a little about how it relates to this situation.

  177. Men's football and basketball raise the TV money that pays for women's gymnastics. I suspect that much of the $1.1 B that washes through the system pays for sports that cost more than they bring in -- and women's gymnastics is probably a good example of that. Figures like this are thrown out there framed as profit. For most schools, sports are a net loss. That said, it does seem fair that the athletes should be able to make money off their accomplishments.

  178. It is interesting to see in the comments that the immediate rebuttal to "Fair Pay to Play" is that the student athlete is receiving a "free ride" or "free education". It is inaccurate to assume that everyone is receiving the same, especially since accordingly to the NCAA website for DIV I only 59 percent of all student-athletes receive some level of scholarship.

  179. I think there are a few clarifications needed. 1. Katelyn Ohashi, and all scholarship athletes, are NOT on a free ride. In DI sports, scholarship athletes must meet a set of NCAA and university rules; what they can wear, random drug tests, team meetings, when and where to travel, what classes (and often, what majors) they take; what they can eat; when they can study, socialize, or go home (or not) to visit their families. DI athletes no matter the sport at a major university is owned by the NCAA and the university. 2. She was not given anything. She EARNED her scholarship. She did what we want in America. She worked incredibly hard for years, and was awarded a year-to year scholarship to do what she does very well. 3. She makes a point that people are missing - in most areas, students can/are encouraged to, capitalize on efforts at university. If she had written a commercialized piece of software, the university would have a agreement so she would have been able to monetize her efforts. Sergy Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, etc, did this. Stanford and Harvard did not restrict the abilities to profit from the efforts. 4. The NCAA and major universities restrict the earning power of students in athletics; this violates a fundamental concept of American capitalism. 5. Any DI athlete is part of a system - the fact that she was in a 'non-revenue sport' is irrelevant. All DI sports are part of the effort that supports men's football and basketball.

  180. @Big tuna 'All DI sports are part of the effort that supports men's football and basketball'? Really? Think you have that backward. Do you think that there would be any money to fly Ms. Ohashi around to meets if it weren't for football and basketball? 'Non-revenue sport' is completely relevant. You are right, she earned her scholarship and for that talent she received a free education and the chance to continue to perform her sport. Otherwise, because not that many people are willing to pay to watch her chosen sport she would have had to stop training and get a job. Seems like a good trade to me.

  181. @Fishoutofwater The non revenue sports are part of the business model and regulatory framework (Title IX, etc) so that women's gymnastics at UCLA, or women's crew at Wisconsin, etc., exist to help keep the number of female and male students the same - basically, to enable them to have 100 football players. She performed for a DI school and became famous as a result. It doesn't matter what sport she is in. She should have been able to make a buck off her performance while she could.

  182. @Fishoutofwater Think you have that backwards. The great majority of D1 schools lose much more on football alone than the entire amount they spend on all women's sports. Monetarily, most D1 schools would come out ahead if the dropped out of FBS and FCS football.

  183. I receive an athletic department magazine every 6 months outlining the advances of our NCAA Level I sports program. First, the Kansas State Athletic Department is a separate corporation. 2nd they state that they pay $313,000 in "support" for each athlete. 3rd, they pay millions to football and basketball coaches in Kansas, while using free sports medicine doctors, trainers, cheerleaders, band. Sometimes the coaches are fired and millions continue to pay out to them years after the coaches are gone. Bill Snyder and Bill Self did not even pay state taxes because their paycheck went to their own corporation. When your coach incorporates himself and places income from camps, sports shows, and pay in a big pot, it is obscene amount of money. Meanwhile, athletes have trouble getting their school laundry done, can't afford books, and in the off season are often food insecure. Their free time is spent promoting the athletic sport they are engaged in, and their schedules are whipped around at the last minute due to the corporation wanting as much television coverage as possible. Furthermore, alumni give to the sports corporation, not the university. New facilities are being built, while the university buildings are breaking down. California is right. Let students benefit from their name, likenesses, and signatures. God knows everyone around them is doing so.

  184. Among other benefits, California's law permits even non-celebrity college gymnasts and swimmers to give paid lessons, just as many serious college musicians are allowed to now. And it's all to the good. There’s little justification in not letting pros go pro, including to the professional SEC Football League. In fact, the NCAA (if they even continue to exist) should start a professional college league. Start with Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and USC—the ones that started and most consistently continue the arms race in facilities, head and assistant coach salaries, and sleazy recruiting practices that were a primary initial contributor to the current state of affairs. To fill out the College Football League, work on down the dirty schools list until you reach around 32 teams, divide into divisions, add playoffs (where the real money is) and there you go. The NFL could use the competition.

  185. @Martin Allison That doesn't make sense. 1% of kids who play Little League will play Varsity Baseball in high school. 1% of high school varsity players will play college D1. 1% of collegiate D1 players will even make it to he pros and only 1% of those who make it to the pros will make it to the MLB. We're talking about fundamentally transforming a system for the benefit of the 1%..if that. Just let them go to the pros, or let the pros set up their own D'league. Or let them play in Canada for a year in the CFL..then they can come to the NFL. Worse case, they play Arena Football and make $5,000 a game plus beer money. If Kentucky and Duke play in the NCAA basketball championship, I can assure you the ratings will not decline because a guy like Zion Williamson is playing in the NBA instead of the NCAA. The only thing that is hurt is the integrity of the NCAA. For Newsome to use LeBron James as a proxy for why this is a good law is insane. Is LeBron saying he should have been able to make money off his high school team? If that happens, how many times would you pass the ball to LeBron as a guard if you were making $0 and he was making $1,000,000 a year? Sorry, but I'm taking the shot LeBron. Team Game? I don't think so.

  186. @Erica Smythe I don't understand your logic. My proposal would take your 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the 1% out of the pretend-amature college system and into a separate professional (though still college-affiliated) system. The rest of the system would still exist for all the actual amature student-athletes, but be modified to eliminate the severe restrictions the NCAA felt necessary to prevent the pro's from taking too big a cut of their take. If you want to use LeBron as a sample case, you could take the logical position that he shouldn't have been in a standard high school, but in a professional academy where he still by law must receive an education mandated for all minors in our society (analogous to Canada's hockey-oriented sports high schools), and then be able to go to the NBA when he reached the age of majority. (Which, by the way, he did per the rules in place at that time—rules that were later overturned through the collusion of the NBA and NCAA.) Let the pro's go pro and not pretend to be students. Let the (vast majority) of other students be subject to the same financial rules as all other talented students.

  187. @Martin Allison And I'm merely saying the #'s don't add up. If you take the top 1% of the top 1% in football..you'll have enough talent for 2 teams...at most. What are they going to do..play each other every week?

  188. One wonders if colleges should be in the “business “of sports and focus more on academics. Is there a way to separate sports into a different structure at the college level.?

  189. She could write a book. What does she want to do to make money? Sell her autograph? Or have a clothing line? She's a world class gymnast as an amateur. Perhaps she can take courses in Communications and work in television commentary. I make these comments, because as a student/athlete she probably had few hours in the day after classes, studying, practice, and meetings to pursue a commercial activity. Now that she has graduated, she can do what she wants and make a career.

  190. @Bill B. I think this is a great question...the traditional monitization would be autographs etc., but with digital media there is a passive income stream that she would be prohibited from benefiting under the NCAA rules. So Ohashi most popular floor routine has approximately 65,000,000 views. A conservative estimate would put the renevue that ULCA received from that video of her floor routine at 16,000 dollars (high end could be 250,000 but Youtube Ad math is fuzzy). Does Ohashi desire a percentage of the revenue? Maybe... but right now she is prohibited from receiving any of it.

  191. Professional athletics have no place in American Colleges and Universities. No matter how much money is made it is not what the college experience should be all about. The monetization of education, of which this is a large component, has done irreparable harm to generations of students. Time to adjust our focus.

  192. I don't have much respect for the NCAA. They take too much time to investigate (remember how long the Reggie Bush investigation went?). And their punishments are inconsistent.

  193. I can't help but to thing about Missy Franklin. While in high schools, she won 5 medals, 4 gold, at the 2012 Olympics. Because she planned to swim for Stanford, she turned down millions in endorsements. However, her career faltered and she never recaptured the same glory. She should have been able to accept money. Some schools even pay football players while other athletes are not allowed to accept money. The system at the NCAA is highly corrupt and funnels money primarily to prop up football. At most NCAA Div 1 FBS schools, football loses vast amounts (many millions) of dollars. The football stadiums desired by the NCAA are wildly expensive - Colorado State University borrowed $230 million and diverted prime land grant land on the main campus to build a new football stadium. The football coaches cost millions and all for a team that hasn't been good since the 1990s under Sonny Lubick. They lose more on the football program alone than they spend on all of women's sports combined. So the issue is only partly about whether or not athletes can accept money. It is also about spending and focus on an all male sport with all male coaches targeted at entertaining men who are not in college with students (including females) footing the bill. It is also about fundamental fairness and equity in spending and employment in athletics at public universities.

  194. @Mama bear That's not entirely true. The USOC has rules that allow for endorsement money to be put into a trust . I don't know if high school rules in CO made that impossible, but the USOC has moved far away from the 'no pay' for amateur athletes.

  195. @Mama bear Or how about Jeremy Bloom? The dude was an Olympic caliber skier, and was a great player for the University of Colorado. He had to choose between playing football or skiing competitively. He needed endorsements to ski, but they violated NCAA rules.

  196. @Erica Smythe However, the same does not apply to the NCAA and college students. They are still expected to be "amateur". You are talking about the Olympics. I knew John Sinclair (runner) when he accepted money and was banned from competing in the Olympics. He was one of the early ones to work and sacrifice his Olympic ambitions for athletes being able to accept money.

  197. Here’s a novel idea: get rid of these professional grade college sports programs and limit collegiate sports to club sports. No more million dollar coaches. No more “student athletes” who fail to meet the entrance standards of the universities they attend. Let the universities focus on their core business, education.

  198. @Joe C. Right! I went to a college with just club sports. Works fine for genuine students.

  199. You'd think politicians could just rein in the outrageous amount of money coaches and athletic directors make (salary and endorsements) but no, they have to pander.

  200. The question that needs to be asked here is not "how much is the NCAA making" but "how much is the NCAA spending on women's athletics?" The answer: A lot. Women's gymnastics (and all women's sports at the collegiate level) are non-revenue generating - they are wholly subsidized by football and men's basketball. Thank goodness for title IX. If it weren't for the NCAA, there would be no women's sports at the collegiate level. The NCAA spends millions of dollars every year promoting women's athletics as well as on national championships for women's sports. If the legislation passed in California takes effect, it will likely eradicate gender equity in college sports. How ironic would that be?

  201. @Mrs. C It is a myth that football supports women's sports. Only a small handful of D1 FBS schools make a profit on football. Universities spend tuition money on athletics, not the NCAA. In fact, football is so costly and operates at such massive deficits , it takes away from women's and men's sports. The NCAA REQUIRES full ride scholarships to football that are worth considerably more than other scholarships. Title IX only requires equity in scholarships, not spending. Most women athletes only get partial scholarships. There is a reason that many schools only have a few men's scholarship sports and that is because of spending on football, not Title IX. Women are more than half undergraduates and paying for athletics, don't you think in this day and age there should be equity in spending and employment in athletics departments? You need to check your "facts" about the NCAA, how and where they spend money and the many millions of deficit spending that most Div 1 schools engage in to support football. The amount is appalling. At the university where I earned my Ph.D. they lose more money on the football program than all of women's sports combined and that is not counting facilities like the the new $230 million football stadium on 100% borrowed money (plus interest) or the indoor practice facility and the practice field..... The football coaches cost many millions and the head coach is the second highest paid employee in the state.

  202. This is true for schools outside the power 5 conferences. Power 5 athletic programs do not take money from their universities. In fact - those programs actually give millions BACK to the universities. And in those conferences, football absolutely underwrites all Olympic sports (so, all women’s sports). And it’s the athletes in power 5 conferences the name/likeness legislation will impact the most. Athletes at mid-majors will not see the benefits of this. And women athletes really won’t benefit at all at ANY program outside a few outliers. This legislation would really only help the rich get richer (imagining every player on the Alabama football team driving a Ferrari). It really will ruin amateur athletics. And for those of you cheering on demise of NCAA - so long women’s college athletics! Schools will drop them like hot potatoes.

  203. What will it be like to be on a team where a few players , usually stars, have name recognition and get endorsements for perhaps over a million dollars. The other players, though perhaps having spent as many hours playing there a sport at a level that allows them to play on a college team, get what? There would seem to be an inherent problem. And I am someone who believes that the system, as is, is highly exploitive. If money is paid to athletes, how does it get distributed and what might be the morale of the non-endorsed players?

  204. @billyc it gets distributed to the athletes who are selling the jerseys. The colleges won't be paying for it, the commercial companies that are selling the products give a part of the money back to the athlete, like they would a pro athlete. Look, the world isn't fair and I was a small college/minor sport athlete. I realized I wasn't D-1, and I realized that the football team at my school got better training and coaching than I did. So be it, that's the way the world works. I don't make Bezos money today, I'm not screaming that it's unfair. It's a good lesson to learn in college that not everything is an even playing field. I'm stunned we want to prepare athletes for a world that isn't there.

  205. I'm all in favor of college sports as long as the athletes are scholars first and athletes second.

  206. This is one person in the history of college gymnastics who may have been able to profit off a routine in NCAA competition. Olympics are pro sports now, so she can make money off her likeness in that competition. She’s getting a scholarship, which apparently she wasn’t willing to give up in exchange for whatever notoriety she might get from this routine. The two sides of this debate are pretty obvious. For some, it’s the good of the individuals that is paramount. A few superstar players feel hamstrung by the rules and think they should get paid to play college sports. For others, it’s the good of the sport that is more important. Title IX would be destroyed by this scheme. The inequities between student athletes at the same school would be completely unfair. The solution is a minor league for those who want to be paid at a younger age, or who may not make it the major league. Otherwise try taking advantage of your scholarship.

  207. I have no problem with college athletes making money from their area of expertise. Until there is a problem we should explore this possibility.

  208. So how many people posting here are going to go after the professional musician in college and tell them they can't make money? Some guys I went to school with started a bar band, which turned into a very strong regional act. They didn't make tons of money, but they made some and were very popular and did get some cash. Another college friend of mine was an artist. She started selling some of her work, again, didn't make millions, but made some decent dough while she was attending college. For those against paying college athletes, you can't have it both ways. That means you would approve of going after all college students who earn money off their craft. If the NCAA was overseeing the bar band and the local artist, the students would get zero dollars.

  209. Clearly, the big money engine of big school athletics programs is not going to run out of gas anytime soon. So here's a possible adjustment. Pay all athletes a fair market return. But make them employees of the university system, not students. If they wish to be students, let them pay their own way, apply for loans or whatever else their non-athletic peers do to pay for their educations. They will not be eligible for student housing. They will not receive academic perquisites that other system employees do not receive. They will not be permitted to skip classes or do make-up work just because they are competing out of town this weekend. They will be able to join the employees' workers' union and bank in the system's credit union. They may be issued employee parking passes. They may receive discounted tuition for classes, if they are enrolled as students. But they won't automatically be admitted to any academic programs offered by the university. Students or athletes, not student-athletes.

  210. Perhaps our society crossed the Rubicon a long time ago on this question but the California Act will only exacerbate the trend of treating student athletes as professional players who happen to live in a dorm (maybe) and wear University colors. It cuts against those in higher education who have this crazy idea the primary purpose of college is (should be?) academic exploration and self-development. Of course, athletics plays a critical role in that process but this law skews that focus.

  211. For those of us who are not and were not athletes, the strange relation of athletics to colleges distorts their mission. For any other major, an student would be able to be paid for his or her specialty. So musicians can get paid gigs while in school - even on scholarship. So can artists, chemistry students. Many engineering students do surveying in the summer. Let's let them make money at their skill. Unlike for the rest of us, whose earning period will last for our full career; for athletes, their peak earning years often end before they hit 30.

  212. @Terry McKenna This is a great argument to remove college sports from colleges/universities. There is not a basketball major. The analogy to musicians who are in a music major is different. Sports is a means for some students to continue to hone their skills, some get scholarships, and they get exposure. If we start with California's model we will have a few college athletes at a the schools profiting largely off of their exposure and success. Most will not, there are not getting paid, just being allowed to make money using their brand. Most athletes do not have a brand. Think about the center of a football team protecting the quarterback. The quarterback may be making significant money off of his brand and the center nada. This will create a number of other issues that may not be worth it. I think the best solution is to take a percentage of the profits the schools/conference etc make and put them in savings accounts for all the student athletes and that they get access to those funds upon graduation. Everyone from the soccer player to the star quarterback gets paid the same, but they have to graduate. They get paid regardless of injury.

  213. @D. Renner but there are various majors that include sports skills, from an education major preparing to teach gym, to degrees that prepare people to to act as rehab specialists.

  214. It is a matter of fairness. A full scholarship violinist at a college can perform on violin for money, same goes do any other musician, or techno wizard, etc. Athletes are treated differently to make money for their colleges, and because of theoretical adverse side effects for being paid. But in the end the right thing needs to be done, and the consequences will play out, maybe there will be unforeseen positive consequences as well. If Zion Williamson had had a career ending injury prior to the draft he would have had zero money even after making his college millions. When YoYo Ma was at Harvard, I bet he played for money while he was there, no harm was done.

  215. Once upon a time it was argued that nurses should not be paid because pay would corrupt motivation to care for patients. Nonsense. Note it was never argued that doctors (assumed male) would be so corrupted. Similarly with "amateurs" --etymological "lovers" who do their activities for play not work. But work can be fun--feel good--too--as it is for most artists and professionals dis-playing their talents. And pay need not corrupt that--indeed it might enable it.

  216. Does she think she is the lone ranger? She is not. She is getting a free education.

  217. @NOTATE REDMOND If she were performing a couple of notches down she would still get free college - that's her deal. But she is performing in a way that fills the seats, so shouldn't she be eligible for a cut of that?

  218. Because she has amateur status. It is not about the money nor should it be.

  219. @Ed Minch Fills the seats ??? I would wager that gymnastics is a money loser for the school. Now if she played a revenue positive sport ( are there any outside UConn women’s basketball ?) then she might have a complaint.

  220. I’m not a big fan of the NCAA, and would prefer to see higher education divorced from athletics at this level, but... I have a problem with some of the analogies presented in the comments. The model, the mathematician, and the software programmer do not need the university in order to demonstrate their talents. Most, though not all, athletes do need what the university and NCAA provide - the big platform on which they are able to compete, and thus, to prove their commercial value. I’m open, but not yet convinced that the current practice is so very unfair.

  221. @Lindah The only reason the college can make money off that student is because...the student exists. Let's agree there are two fundamental things, without which the specific money-making opportunity does not exist. One is, the college fields a team. The second is, the athlete performs. Both are necessary because without either—no money! Let's just make sure the organizing framework allows both to be compensated fairly.

  222. My proposal - Prospective student/athletes make the choice when they select their school: take scholarship assistance OR go in eligible for endorsements, etc. Those drawing the full rides would be most likely to rake in the biggest outside compensation, but they would have to take the chance on this decision...just like any other 'business' choice that they will have to make in life.

  223. @American Educator This is one of the best ideas I've heard thus far. The decision would clarify the value of a scholarship vs. a 4-year business opportunity.

  224. @American Educator Interesting but that's like signing up for a four year contract which very few would want to do and in Katelyn's situation she'd be in same spot, with $0 in her pocket. We are in a different time and we need to think differently. They can play, get scholarships, and make some $ just like every other student. If we are really a free market society this shouldn't be complicated at all.

  225. The NCAA and her college gave her a free education and the free use of it's facilities and well as access to top notch coaching. Don't pretend you didn't get anything out of the deal. Meanwhile, your college lost money while providing you the opportunity to participate in the sport you love and gain fame in the process.

  226. @Dan First - you don't know if she had a full ride scholarship. Most women in college sports do not while football players full ride scholarships required by the NCAA are often worth over $100K. Second - the NCAA does not pay for scholarships, student tuition does. Third - college scholarships should be an opportunity for talented athletes who are good students to earn a degree. In football, the most costly of all sports with the most capital needs, being a "student" is not why they are given scholarships and often they are unqualified for college.

  227. @Mama bear Your first point might be correct. Your second and third points are all the more reason not to feel sorry for college athletes. Our sympathy should be for the "regular" students who have to pay for their own education and help subsidize the athletes, some of whom aren't even interested in an education!

  228. @Dan the issue isn't to feel sorry, or not, for athletes. They get scholarships, in return, they work hard. All the CA bill does is give the right for students to monetize their personal efforts if they have a chance. I am sure that university lawyers could craft agreements in 5 min in which she could have been on the Wheaties box, in UCLA wear, and there would have been a cut for UCLA and a cut to her. How is this unfair?

  229. Katelyn would make a great Wheaties girl. The better solution is to separate the professionalization of college sports from academics altogether. Let the professional teams manage and develop up and coming athletes, by putting them on modest salaries and allowing them to sign endorsement contracts. Athletic scholarships are ample recompense for most college athletes, who will receive a good education for their participation in sports. The Ivy League does not offer athletic scholarships. For the best athletes, college is a convenient waystation to the professional leagues. One and done is now routine. Professionally, men's basketball, football, baseball, hockey, golf, and tennis are the most lucrative. For a young woman with exceptional athletic ability who wanted to pursue a professional career, I would advise her to choose golf or tennis. Katelyn, like most others, excels in a sport that is not particularly lucrative. After graduation, perhaps she can organize a tour, with gymnasts such as Simone Biles, along the lines of "All That Skate" or "Stars on Ice." No doubt endorsement contracts are in her future. Universities benefit from revenue generating sports--men's football and basketball--but they should not benefit by promoting specific athletes' images. The compensation of elite coaches is unethical--when their star players are struggling for a bit of spending money. Coaches cannot succeed without thoroughbreds.

  230. @Andrew Shin She isn't a girl - she is a young woman.

  231. It is a difficult issue. On the one hand I am very much opposed to universities subsidizing professional sports by becoming the equivalent of their minor league teams. Baseball supports itself, I don't think the NFL and NBA need to be subsidized any more than they already are. On the other hand, we do not have rules against a business student starting up a company in their dorm room. Maybe universities need to take the same route as the University of Chicago. I would hate to see the Big 10 break up but, like any other relationship, when it's over, it's over and you move on.

  232. What about the brilliant but poor student who merits and receives an academic scholarship for economics or computer science. Then she graduates and moves on to Silicon Valley or Wall Street to mint money for herself and Google or Goldman Sachs. Not the minor leagues for NFL and NBA but the same effect without the Saturday afternoon and March Madness entertainment included.

  233. I attended the nation’s first public university (UNC), which cost my parents $500/semester. At the time our legendary men’s basketball coach Dean Smith, a state employee, was paid $16K salary his first year as head coach. Then came the Shoe Money era. When Coach Smith negotiated a contract with Nike, he insisted on outfitting all sports teams, including women’s and non-revenue sports, and eschewed any personal compensation. Nearby rival schools handled their windfalls quite differently, and NCAA violators have been punished inequitably ever since, with rich alumni providing an alternate scheme of compensation in secret. The situation has evolved along with with the rest of our society’s inequity, until college tuition incurs debt rivaling yesterday’s mortgages, and a basketball scholarship might be a ticket to a $multi-million pro salary for a very few students. The hundreds of amateur athletes who had their educations paid for worked harder than most students because of practice, travel and compensation, brought glory to their schools in many different sports. I imagine most of them are satisfied with the bargain they struck; a debt-free education is still available, but only to lucky strivers.

  234. @Alice Smith Edited to correct autocorrect for changing my competition to compensation in last paragraph.

  235. @Alice Smith hmmmm, given the structural methodologies that UNC built to keep athletes away from classrooms while continuing their eligibility I suspect you should do a bit more research about your alma mater.

  236. Define "everyone". Because it sure ain't the students whose tuition (and taxes) is partially funding your training, education, etc.

  237. Elite college athletes are generally on scholarship. That's not nothing, at least insofar as the university treats them as student-athletes and insists that they integrate with the rest of the student body and get an actual education. I expect that under the California law, the distinction between "salary" and "being paid for their name and likeness" will, in practice. be rendered laughable in short order. How about instead of just opening the door to more money and corruption and circus, we get universities out of the big-time sports business altogether? Other students who make money off of their gifts don't do so under the imprimatur of their universities, at least not to the degree that athletes do. Let the forces of capitalism create leagues for young athletes, in which they can capitalize on their talents to their hearts' content. Wanna go to college? Go to college. Wanna make a zillion bucks off your athletic skills? Go do that somewhere else. Universities must wean themselves from the riches captured and divvied up by the NCAA and conference cabals. Past a certain threshold of amateurism and fair play, none of this has anything to do with higher education, yet we are all contorting to accommodate it.

  238. @Ludlow Amateurism, that’s the problem. Why are the students the only amateurs? The schools make money off the professional level of the play of their athletes. College sports is a business. When the coaches are the highest paid state workers (Bill Self, for example) something is wrong. As for the scholarships who are we kidding. How many athletes get full rides to finish school and how many graduate?

  239. @Ludlow Quite. Why are the NBA and NFL allowed to treat college sports as a farm league? Other professional sports have their own "minor leagues" or feeder teams, let them do that.

  240. @Ludlow No contortion whatsoever. American college and universities have been serving the economic interests of their communities since the 1700s. Higher education has supported big-time businesses for centuries and, in turn, has cashed in on the follow-on commercial success of their students - graduates and non-graduates all. Would you have told 20th century metallurgists and agronomists to "go somewhere else" because they are budding capitalists? How about their 1950s-era computer math classmates who wished to carry "the imprimatur of their university" into our culture? Of course not. Like it or not, higher education has everything to do with commercial activity. Your line of thinking has the whiff of the academic elitism that challenged the arrival of blue-collar and GI Bill college students in the 1950s and 1960's...("tut-tut...how will THEY fit in...."). Today, the demand for the performance of certain athletic skills is at an all-time high. Colleges cash in - as they have since Day One. The new law merely takes us back to a time when the students - in this case - student-athletes could cash in, as well.

  241. Why are student athletes the only ones restricted from making money from their talent? It is not equitable at all. No other scholarship restricts the recipient from making money off their talent. The NCAA's restrictions are based on keeping college sports "pure." Time to let these young people get a bigger piece of the pie

  242. @Dr John When you can pay STEM college students, I'll agree. Otherwise, why are colleges in the sports, entertainment for profit business?

  243. @David Nothing stops a school from allowing STEM students to keep a share of the moneys gained by the school through their students' efforts, or allowing students to accept payment for activities outside of school, or even for directly paying them for that matter (after all grad student teaching assistants are underpaid, but paid nonetheless). Can't say the same for NCAA athletes.

  244. The NCAA prohibition against students agreeing to endorse commercial products and from getting paid for appearance fees etc. is discriminatory and violates their basic economic rights. These student rights do not disappear just because students sign up to play sports at an NCAA institution. Let me give two examples that show the discriminatory nature of the NCAA rules. Every year, there are music students that have scholarships at music schools, who perform professionally with no penalty. If an NCAA athlete were to endorse a product or play an exhibition game, they would be prevented from playing NCAA sports at all NCAA institutions. An analogous penalty for a music student playing privately at Carnegie hall would be for the music student to lose his or her scholarship and to be prevented from enrolling in any music school in the U.S. Another example is the fact that science students get summer paid internships at national labs or private research firms in the summer. If the NCAA rules applied to these science students, they would be expelled from their schools and prevented from enrolling at all other schools in the U.S. for accepting a summer research internship at a national lab. If judges were not sports fans, the current NCAA rules would have been ruled unconstitutional long ago. l

  245. @W. Lynch Not convincing in the slightest. For one thing, the potential sums involved are vastly different. How many musicians and scientists are paid millions for endorsing Gatorade--like Zion? More to the point, how many scientists are compensated for endorsing a particular microscope or beaker? A musician for endorsing a Steinway or Yamaha? Sure, some rock stars are probably paid for endorsing a particular make of guitar. It has something to do with the rampant commercialism of sports, which is absent from the other two fields. Sports is exclusively about entertainment, whereas science and music benefit humanity in more encompassing ways. It is education versus entertainment.

  246. @Vox Music and sports serve very similar purposes in society. Maybe you feel differently about the two, but that opinion shouldn't dictate the economics earnings of these athletes.

  247. The big difference here is the amount of money a university brings in through its sports programs vs. science and the arts. I'm not opining on whether athletes should be paid or not, but I don't find the comparison of athletes vs. other students and their ability to make money for their schools to be a valid argument - it is a false equivalence.

  248. Do NCAA rules bar college athletes from patenting an idea or establishing their own non-sports related business?

  249. I believe it does possibly prohibit this. And the rationale being: Money could be laundered through phony jobs or investment contributions or such to filter to the student as a financial benefit.

  250. @Suburban Cowboy No need to launder if you can just pay them outright I guess. Amateur sports will end after high school (or will this notion reach that level next?), and colleges should no longer be part of a for-profit sports system when it pretends to be an educational system.

  251. @David The fallacy there is pretending Alabama football and Kentucky basketball are amateur sports, rather than the thoroughly professional NFL/NBA preparatory schools they are.

  252. The notion of amateurism in sport has been obsolete for decades, and was never as pure as was pretended for decades before that. Similarly, the notion of student-athlete in major collegiate sports programs is a myth. College athletes should be able to profit from their efforts. At the same time, educational institutions should not house quasi-professional sport programs. Eliminate sport scholarships, eliminate multi-million dollar coaching staffs, eliminate mega-million dollar athletic facilities, eliminate billion dollar conference television contracts. Schools should be schools.

  253. @MEM what novel concepts you raise. But once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it’s impossible to reinsert it.

  254. @MEM All schools should be division 3.,

  255. @LES I've long recommended the service academies at least, should drop Div I athletics. Air Force Academy football player would receive the benefits of serious team sports competition by playing their academic peers in the Colorado School of Mines rather than Notre Dame.

  256. I agree with the premise of the bill, and Katelyn's thesis. I strongly disagree with the provision to avoid responsibility for a half-generation of college students before it's enactment. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right away.

  257. Here’s my beef: for most D1 athletes, even in competitive national programs, especially football players, their entire career happens in four years. They are “student athletes” during those four years. However, as shown in the video, most of their time in those four years is dedicated to practice and conditioning for their sport....NOT their academic pursuits. The number of tutors needed and classes scheduled at little better than high school level is astonishing, not to mention the generally low graduating GPAs of some athletes. Stop insisting that they’re “students” when their entire athletic program (thinking of football mostly) is structured so they have nearly no ability to take advantage of the education they’re “gifted” by scholarship. So, ok, they “get a university education they didn’t have to pay for.” But did they really? Let’s not forget a certain Fox commentator who extended his eligibility by taking ballroom dance... The poverty of some of the players (again thinking football) who can’t even work at the school library or cafeteria for pocket money is also appalling. A university experience is so much more than class and practice, and to not even be able to earn $50/week for pizza is outrageous. It’s even more distasteful when you consider the enormous amount of advertising revenue that networks earn from broadcasting games.

  258. The Fair Pay to Play Act is long overdue. Big time college athletics is the height of hypocrisy. Giving the students the ability to make money off their own image and likeness is the right thing. It's absurd that the NCAA can sell licensed jerseys with the name and number of the player and the student gets no money from that. The NCAA gets a piece, the university gets a piece and the NCAA apparel "partner" gets a piece. But the student can look around a stadium filled with people wearing a likeness of his jersey and not get anything. That's wrong.

  259. @Andrew ..... "Giving the students the ability to make money off their own image and likeness is the right thing.".......Maybe, except you forget that the only reason an athlete can make money off their image is because of their association with the University and the platform the University provides. Further, for the University, for most sports like gymnastics, providing that platform is a negative financially.

  260. @W.A. Spitzer And the only reason the college can make money off that student is because...the student exists. Let's agree there are two fundamental things, without either of which this specific money-making opportunity does not exist. One is, the college fields a team. The second is, the athlete performs. Both are necessary because without either— no money! Let's just make sure the organizing framework allows both to be compensated fairly.

  261. My son and daughter-in-law are teachers. Their monthly student loan payments rival their mortgage payments. Our top athletes often forget that their tuition and room/board is provided to them at no or heavily discounted costs. Some receive stipends. It is just human to feel you should get more for your skills. Maybe the new California laws will help. In the meantime let's not forget the vast majority of college students pay for their college costs over many years.

  262. I hate football and I fully respect teachers. Both of my parents were teachers. But if your son and daughter-in-law were Division One football stars or a famous gymnast like Katelyn Ohashi they deserve to be compensated fairly for their value. Free room and board and tuition are not reasonable compensation in a capitalist society. The universities, athletic staff, coaches and media make a literal fortune from the sweat of a popular athletes’ brow. Be honest in this conversation. If your son or daughter-in-law wanted tuition reimbursement they could have pursued ROTC. That’s how my father attended university. Your children had options beyond just accruing debt.

  263. Let me understand; you didn't get a college scholarship and living cost stipend? A lot of people would think that is "making money."

  264. A reminder that much of the teaching staff at these universities are being paid poverty wages, despite having paid tuition for masters degrees and doctorates. Adjunct faculty have long been exploited in universities. If universities start paying student athletes more than they are teaching their adjunct faculty, it will be just one more example of how institutions of higher education have had to twist priorities, since they were forced into a corporate model in the 1980s, with divestment of state funding and rankings based on criteria that had little relationship to learning.

  265. Fascinating video, but it didn't provide evidence for the claim "everyone made money off my NCAA career." Does anyone know if gymnastics is in fact profitable for most schools and universities? Is the idea that they made money off of the viral video?

  266. @WC - There is a difference between revenue and profit. That is not the point. The point is that amateur athletics in the US generate significant revenue and the athletes are not compensated fairly.

  267. @WC Of course it's hyperbole to say that "everyone" made money off of her NCAA career. But think about it: how many young hopeful gymnasts now want to go to UCLA to become part of that program? And doesn't that mean more students paying for gymnastics programs, etc where someone gets paid? And now that UCLA Gymnastics' profile is even higher, doesn't that help increase alumni giving? Also the coach Valerie Kondos came out with a book recently...if her athletes didn't perform well, would a publisher be giving her a book deal in the first place? Didn't Kaitlin's performance help get the coach on the Today show and other outlets where she plugged her book which massively bumped up sales/royalties? Yeah she got a scholarship but so do a lot of other students who don't generate any money for the school. There are plenty of students and faculty who use their talent to start their own businesses as a side hustle--why can't she do the same if she worked hard to achieve success?

  268. I support this bill, but disagree that student-athletes don't "get" anything at the moment. I went to a presitgious D1 university that was really big into sports, and athletes in the more lucrative sports got a prestigious diploma, free tutors, free fancy meals and housing, some had use of university-owned SUVs, specially-curated networking events, etc etc. As a non-athlete, I got non of these things and in fact spent years paying off my student loans. I agree that student-athletes should be able to profit off of their hard work like anyone else, which is why I support the bill. But I've been reading articles that suggest that the athletes are working for "free" for the university, which isn't really true.

  269. Will Universities be held responsible if gender discrepancies arise in the compensation? If male football player makes $100K from his image in a video game, but the female rower only makes $10k for a public appearance, is that gender-based discrimination (after all, it is the outside parties making the offers)?

  270. @James That’s where the rubber meets the road. I can already hear the argument that this is a back door around Title IX. We all know male athletes will make more in outside income than women. Will women fight in court against this CA law? I guarantee they will.

  271. @James Is that a serious question? The answer is, of course, no—unless the rower is making a proportionally lower amount from the sales of her video game than the football player from his. On the other hand, if players on the women's national soccer team make much less money than players on the men's team would make if they had the same level of success, they might have a case. Oh yes, that's right, they do!

  272. When are American schools going to drop sports altogether to make academia about academics — and quality education available to every American? Why are we debating whether to professionalize college sports when the lucrative sports industry can, like Europe, establish athletic tracks for those who seek a professional career in sports. They have sports schools as an alternative to academia, as well as strong vocational schools for learning trades. Sports is basically a trade. Why can't the U.S. do the same? Sports created the facilities arms race and at the highest levels, competition for television revenues, both of which drive tuitions into the stratosphere, far outpacing inflation and increasingly making higher education available only to the wealthy, destroying economic mobility, and creating a growing, permanent underclass. University coaches earn millions. At public, supposedly academic, institutions. That’s INSANE! Economic mobility and meritocracy only occur when we as a society create a level playing field for the young, and a level playing field is only possible if everyone starting out in life has access to quality education and the opportunity to find out what is their optimum track career-wise.

  273. @Jimbo Because it's business after all, and sports generate LOTS of revenue for colleges.

  274. @Mark Sports, top to bottom including football and basketball, are overall a substantial money loser for the great majority of even Division I colleges.

  275. @Mark Exactly! That revenue corrupts every educational institution that invests in sports programs beyond using sports as a character-building activity. Sports and academics are at odds with each other. The entire rationale for mixing academics with sports is to help students in their formative years develop the kind of character and competencies (i.e., teamwork, leadership, competitive spirit, etc.) beneficial to liberal democratic society; all of which becomes irrelevant when the athletes are elite, quasi-professionals who make up an infinitesimal percentage of the student body, especially when most of these elite athletes treat academics as something to accommodate rather than pursue. The whole thing is a sham. It's corrupt, and it's a destructive force in our society, one that fans underestimate in their tribal support for a respective school. I spend a good deal of time in Europe where academic institutions are strictly devoted to academics. There is no institutional arms race like there is here. Tuitions are affordable if not free to all members of society -- WHO QUALIFY. Which is part of the deal. Not everybody in society qualifies for higher and higher levels of academic study. Many belong on non-academic tracks such as a vocational or sports career, where schools for one or the other provide professional training that prepares 'students' for lucrative careers. The mix of academics and sports is toxic.

  276. College gymnasts aren’t famous.

  277. @Jamie Breen - Katelyn Ohashi is famous. Look up the definition of the word.

  278. @Jamie Breen Neither are you, but I expect that you get paid or otherwise compensated for what you do.

  279. Katelyn is right. She worked for thousands of hours to build her athletic skills - I see this as being about fair pay for athletes of all types. And the new law should take effect in 2020, not in 2023.