TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – College athletes aren’t allowed to be paid, but with more and more money being generated through college sports, attitudes are changing.
“It’s just becoming more and more of a business. I mean you have college coaches making close to ten million dollars a year,” said Dr. Jason Pappas, a Professor of Sports Management at Florida State University.
On Monday, California became the first state in the nation to require the NCAA to allow college athletes to hire agents and directly profit from endorsement deals.
But some, including Dr. Pappas, are concerned allowing players to profit may harm competition.
“We promote recruiting at such a high level now that it’s only going to perpetuate based on those institutions willing to and able to pay for those endorsements to be able to signify that they’re a Nike school or and Adidas school,” said Pappas.
Nearly identical legislation has now been filed in Florida.
Some big names in Florida athletics like FSU football coach Willie Taggart are behind the idea.
“I think that’s fair, I mean it’s a new time,” said Taggart.
As are players, like FSU running back Cam Akers.
“Me being bias, I’m a college athlete, but yeah I think so,” said Akers. “Why not?”
For or against, the passage of California’s law may have set in motion an unstoppable chain reaction that Florida may have no choice but to join according to Dr. Pappas.
“You look at it and say, well if California does it, we need to do it in order to be able to stay at the level of high recruiting to be able to bring in the best athletes they possibly can in order to be competitive,” said Pappas.
The legislation still has a long way to go, so far there’s no companion bill filed in the Senate, but that could change before the session starts in January.
If passed, the legislation here in Florida wouldn’t take effect until 2023, the same as the law signed in California.
We reached out to the NCAA for comment on this story, but did not receive a reply.