California Bill Seeks "Fair Pay to Play" for College Athletes

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Fans gather outside the stadium prior to the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game between the Virginia Cavaliers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education passed the "Fair Pay to Play Act" on Tuesday, the legislation that would allow California student athletes to profit from the use of their name, image or likeness. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently bans collegiate athletes from this practice and has opposed the bill, along with the University of California, California State University, and the Association of Independent of California Colleges and Universities, claiming it will lead to funding cuts and threaten athletic scholarships. We explore both sides of the long-brewing debate over who should profit from the talents of a student.


Ellen Staurowsky, professor in sport management, Drexel University

Nancy Skinner, California state senator for District 9

Gregg Clifton, principal, Jackson Lewis P.C.; co-chair, Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group

Andy Fee, athletic director, Long Beach State University