The debate over whether or not collegiate athletes should be paid has been ongoing for years, but it recently took an interesting turn.
California’s state legislature has passed a bill that would allow college athletes to make money off of their likeness via endorsements, autograph signings, etc. Several professional athletes have given their endorsement for the bill that is on its way to California governor Gavin Newsom.
Unsurprisingly, the NCAA is working to combat the law. The organization has reportedly sent a letter to Newsom to express its extreme concern on the matter.
Pete Carroll was asked for his thoughts on the bill on Wednesday. Carroll’s tenure as college coach was headlined by his time as USC’s head coach from 2001-09 where he won two national championships.
“I don’t know the real depth to (the law). I’ve never been the guy that feels players needed to be paid to play," Carroll said. "I’ve felt like their scholarship and all the advantages that the guys got was always a pretty darn good deal. To me that sounds like it’s an adult situation trying to make sense of a kid’s experience, and so they’ve justified it. I don’t know that it’s wrong, good for the kids and all, and if it’s the right thing then maybe the rest of the country adopts it. I never thought that it was necessary. Even though there’s times that are tough for kids who don’t have a lot of money to take as incidental spending and stuff like that, when a kid’s on scholarship, he’s taken care of pretty well. They can make it. To start that, I’m surprised it happened. We’ll see what happens.”
If passed, the law would be an unprecedented shakeup to the traditional norms of collegiate sports. The important distinction is that it wouldn’t allow programs to pay athletes, but merely to allow those athletes to make money off of their own fame.