The question of student-athletes getting paid is a long debated topic, but California might have ended the debate. Prominent athletes and politicians, such as LeBron James and Bernie Sanders, support the pay of athletes and the Senate bill 206. The bill, “Requires intercollegiate athletic programs at 4-year private universities or campuses of the University of California or the California State University that receive, as an average, $10,000,000 or more in annual revenue derived from media rights for intercollegiate athletics to comply with prescribed requirements relating to student athlete rights.” LeBron tweeted in support, “Call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly get paid for what they do and the billions they create.” Sanders responded to his tweet, “College athletes are workers. Pay them.”
The main argument against student athletes being paid for their sport, is the fact that they are already being paid thousands of dollars in scholarships. Most athletic scholarships cover medical care, housing, meals, books and tuition. It is estimated that college athletes are being reimbursed through scholarships, as much as the average American makes per year. However, NCAA scholarships are only granted to the most elite athletes.
The NCAA regulates and supports college athletes by offering scholarships as well as overseeing the treatment of the athletes. The NCAA does not currently directly pay athletes, because as they sate, it would blur the line between amateurs and professionals. Under the senate bill 206, it makes it illegal for California universities to revoke an athletes scholarships for monetizing their name. Athletes can now hire agents, accept brand deals, and partake in sponsorships.
The average university makes around 30 million dollars per year, from football alone. While bill 206 does not guarantee the athletes will ever see part of the 30 million they help make, it will allow the players to support themselves.