NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The debate over whether or not college athletes should be paid is heating up after the California Senate passed a bill to allow student athletes in the state to hire an agent and sign endorsement deals.
“SB 206 will give our student athletes who go to college in California the same right that Olympic athletes have, which is the right to their name, image and likeness,” California Senator Nancy Skinner said.
In a landmark move, the California bill is just one signature away from going into effect much to the dismay of the NCAA.
But, while the move is celebrated by some and hated by others, some say allowing college athletes to make money in just one state would tip the scales.
“Everywhere, but lets get is started, at least we’re getting it started, at least they’re making an effort to get is started,” LSU fan Gary Brown said.
“I don’t agree that they should be paid for endorsements because it’s already gotten to be too big of a money sport already,” Michigan State fan Todd York said.
In response to the bill, the NCAA wrote a letter to the California governor urging him not to sign the bill calling it unconstitutional and that it could lead to California colleges becoming ineligible to compete in athletics due to the unfair recruitment advantage.
“I do work at Tulane University and they auction off those kids shirts and they make money off those shirts. They should do something about that. These young men are men, and they, NCAA, they’re making all the money off of them and they’re not giving them any,” Brown said.
After news broke of the California bill passing, other states such as South Carolina announced bills of their own so as to not lose out on star recruits.
“Well you know as a Vols fan, we’re down on talent as tit is, so for something that would create that inequity to come along and be able to go to a market place where they’re trying to sell many more shirts and many more of their likeness is going to make it difficult,” Tennessee fan George Sullivan said.
FOX 8 asked one fan about the possibility of recruits transferring schools to seeking to make endorsement money.
“Let them go. Let them go,” York said. “I like the three-star recruits at Michigan State."
But some people don’t seem worried.
“Once one state gets started, it’s going to trickle down here,” Brown said.