By: Olivia Wile
There’s no question athletics play a large part in the University of Findlay culture. From a nationally acclaimed men’s basketball program, to All-American Track and Field stars, UF is all about sports.
Recently making sports news, however, has been California’s Fair Pay to Play Act – a piece of legislation that has Findlay athletes talking.
“The University benefits a lot from athletes and a lot of funds come from sporting events. So I feel like it would only be fair that if the University is making so much money off of athletes that athletes shouldn’t just be getting money from their scholarships,” said Madi Devries, sophomore on the women’s lacrosse team. “There should be some sort of balance.”
The act would make California the first to outlaw the NCAA’s restrictions against student athletes profiting from their own names, images and likeness (NIL).
It would both allow student athletes in the state to be compensated for their NIL and prevent the NCAA from disqualifying athletes from competition for receiving compensation.
Junior on the women’s basketball team, Allison Utterback, is in favor of this new legislation and agrees with Devries.
“Think about how much work goes into being an athlete. For instance, we don’t really get paid so I’m working on top of going to class, going to practice, games, workouts and stuff and it’s just a lot,” explained Utterback. “I feel like with all they put into the program and to the school, athletes should get that stipend if that’s what they want.”
Not everyone is in favor of this new legislation, though – specifically the NCAA. The organization’s own Board of Governors sent a letter to the Governor of California stating:
“If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions.”
University of Findlay Senior, Justin Gillman, suggests a happy medium between the two sides.
“If any college athlete here wants to sign autographs at Dietsch’s or something for like five buck an autograph they can, I think they should be able to do that,” said Gillman. “I still think they should get a scholarship, I just don’t think the University should write a check to the athletes every month.
The act is still pending approval from Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, and would not go into affect until 2023.
For more information about the Fair Pay to Play Act visit: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB206.
To read the entire letter sent by the NCAA visit: For the whole letter, visit: https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/ncaa-president-mark-emmert-s-letter-to-the-california-assembly/9189935d-3282-4046-88f7-abee191f8d4c/.