College Athletes Should Not Be Paid to Play, But California Disagrees

Alexander Tabares, Staff Writer

In California, the state legislature signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, allowing universities to pay their players for playing for their teams. Signed into law on Sept. 30, this act was a terrible decision because it will prevent Californian teams from playing in National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments and will inevitably make all of the talented athletes in search of money move to California.

The immediate issue with the Fair Pay to Play Act is that it immediately conflicts with one of the NCAA’s founding guidelines. This guideline states that in order to stay in these tournaments, teams must not pay or promise pay to any player, meaning that any California team that pays their players will not be allowed to play in any NCAA tournaments, like March Madness – the most notoriously known college basketball tournament. Not only does this reduce the amount of competition in these extremely popular events, but it also means that less Californians will watch these events, leading to less revenue for the NCAA. Essentially, there will be a butterfly effect, or an exponential change on much of the college athletics world. This could see a new association be created for teams in California.

“California will pretty much be a new country. It will have a completely separate association to the rest of the United States,” freshman Patrick Heydasch.

In addition, this law would cause many players to move to Californian schools, because getting paid to do something is obviously better than the contrary. This will likely cause a massive discrepancy between California and the other states. If the Californian teams are allowed to stay in the NCAA, which is unlikely, they will have a monarchy over any sport they play in. On top of that, few talented players will go to teams with rich athletic histories or those that are currently thriving, such as the institutions of Duke University, Gonzaga University or Auburn University.

In addition to a loss of the loss of culture and history of several renowned collegiate athletic institutions, these colleges will have virtually no elite players because all of the teams that pay their athletes will get the good ones. That also means that Californian teams that are currently low seeds will become better than any teams outside of California because they will have the money to essentially bribe any good players to join their teams.

“There will be a massive skill difference between Californian college teams and the rest of the country’s,” freshman Brian Matute said.

Some may say that the athletes deserved this pay because of their hard work, as they are playing just below the professional level. Although they are extremely talented, they are already being paid in scholarship money. Going to college is normally a large sum of money; so giving a scholarship would be the equivalent of paying these players thousands of dollars to play.

In conclusion, the Fair Pay to Play Act signed in California was a terrible decision because it will prevent teams from playing in the NCAA-sponsored tournaments as it breaks one of the fundamental guidelines of the NCAA, and there will be a massive discrepancy in talent in favor California. On top of that, these amateur players are already being paid to play sports at this level in the form of scholarship money easily justifying why this act must be repealed before there is irreversible damage to all college sports in the United States.