Anthony Gonzalez plans to propose a national Fair Pay to Play law

Getty Images

California has started the ball rolling. A former college and pro football player hopes to give it a major push forward.

Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio State and Colts receiver who currently serves as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, plans to propose federal legislation that will take the new California law allowing college athletes to earn money from their names, images, and likenesses national.

I actually think that we need to do something quickly, within the next year,” Gonzalez told ESPN.com. “I don’t think you have three years to figure this out. I think decisions will start happening immediately.”

A federal law, if crafted in a way that properly respects states’ rights, would supersede the California law and any other state law that may arise. Given that college sports operate on a national basis under the umbrella of the NCAA, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with something that would apply coast to coast.

But it could be difficult to ensure that college athletes are legitimately earning money from their names, images, and likenesses and not simply getting free money from the local car dealership that wants to do what it can to help the local university’s football program win games and in turn creates fluffed-up endorsement arrangements under which it gives players a free car and lots of cash to be an ambassador or whatever for Bobby Ray Jenkins Ford-Chrysler-Dodge! (I don’t know that there is such as thing as Bobby Ray Jenkins Ford-Chrysler-Dodge, but I definitely won’t be surprised if there is.)

“There are a lot of people who are trying to get a piece of the athlete who do not have their best interest in mind and are out for nefarious means,” Gonzalez said. “You can imagine a world where, if there were no guard rails in place, that it could get out of hand pretty quickly. That’s the lane you’re trying to carve. How do you do this to provide necessary and deserved benefits while not inviting a bigger problem alongside it?”

Still, the current model is grossly unfair to athletes. While no system will be perfect, any system in which the players have the ability to receive something more than an “education” many don’t want in the first place is better than the decades of exploitation that college athletes have endured, generating billions that go everywhere but into the pockets of the people who are responsible for making it.

31 responses to “Anthony Gonzalez plans to propose a national Fair Pay to Play law

  1. What’s holding colleges and universities from paying its’ players right now? I say forget about waiting a few years, pay the players now, charge them for their tuition, books, meals, room, board and medical care.

  2. Do these athletes realize that this “law” is a tax grab, and not an attempt to give college athletes fair compensation?

  3. I’m for it, but those guys making bank off of their likenesses should have to pay tuition. The exposure, training, medical and coaching can be the portion covered by the school. Oh and wait until they meet the IRS. The taxman always gets his.

  4. Sooo tired of hearing about this nonsense. Paid to play? Fine. But you now have to pay full tuition, room and board. No not scholarships. Football and basketball player s will get paid and funding for non revenue sports will be gone. No one forced athletes to play in college whats next, playing high schoolers?

  5. Exploitation?????? Getting a college degree from a top university for free is hardly “exploitation”. If you don’t think so, talk to all the parents whose kids have to pay for an education at one of these universities.
    My primary physician told me that kids today who want to be doctors and get their medical degrees, and then open their own practice will spend 20 years before they are at the break even point. Think about that for a moment. They have to wait 20 years to break even but these athletes who get drafted get handed millions before they ever even play one down in the NFL.
    So yeah — colleges make millions from sports but the the athletes who have scholarships are benefiting too.

  6. The NCAA’s been taking advantage of athletes for years and it’s time for these kids to get the money they rightfully deserve. There should be no reason players don’t make money off their names and likeness. Every other college student can. There are thousands out their profiting off their own YouTube channels. If you’re buying MY jersey, I should be able to profit. Also, excited for the NCAA video games coming back.

  7. Well, now that EVERYONE has admitted college is nothing more than a big business (like big oil Wall Street, or now they’re even attacking their buddies in big tech companies), it should start getting demonized by the left…correct?

    I can’t wait for that actually…let’s see what this unchecked rising tuition goes for. These “professors” have it pretty easy…all they do is push their radical left agenda onto kids without any real learning. How else do you explain the fact that AOC has an economics degree…but does not understand the first thing about it?

    With all that said, I also hope athletic scholarships are eliminated…if the kids can profit now, they can pay for their school.

  8. The current model grants admission for countless “student”-athletes who if not for play in a single sport otherwise would fail to receive it, covers expenses that often total up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, grants physical development facilities and guidance that for future pro players amounts to outright professional development, and most valuable (and overlooked) of all places the S-As in an exclusive networking situation that can set them up for easy access to job opportunities or as an investment draw for the rest of their lives. Oh, so unfair, he says sarcastically. Meanwhile, all those other non-athlete students who have to (metaphorically) kill themselves to gain admission and then once in school develop a professional profile of any worth – students who also put themselves in a large financial hole for the privilege – must be outright chumps, given how much worse their “deal” is. Here’s the real truth: athletes who by at least partial good fortune manage to play entertaining children’s games well are treated as GODS in high school, enjoying loads of privileges in that arena, and not only does that great deal continue and even expand in college but somehow those same people also have convinced the world that they are exploited. What a joke.

  9. If they don’t want the education, start a semi-pro league, and quit giving scholarships to people that don’t want to learn anything. Those players are only using the college to get a fat payday in the pros. That fact, in my opinion, is payment enough. Granted the college benefits by having the football program, but they are giving a lot of the players’ benefits for their talent. You have a lot of people that want to go to college, and can’t afford it, then you have a lot being given free rides because they can play sports that don’t want an education.

  10. Wait until a college golfer accepts cash, his amateur status is gone! Meaning no more a USGA sanctioned events.
    Or, a couple 5 star recruits get paid their huge “signing” bonus!
    Or, when the few schools with top women’s basketball programs, see their star players not paid the same as the All American QB!
    Don’t think this will be the solution that the “politicians” intend, unless all the likeness money goes into a shared pool and divided up
    with all athletes in a school!

  11. This sounds like a great idea. This would free up so much free tuition for people who don’t make enough money to go to college.

  12. Fine. Pay the athlete.
    But make him/her pay for everything while in college.
    Boarding, meals, transportation & especially medical insurance.

  13. For freshmen the base is $$$ times your star rating. For anyone else it is your income last year. You earn $$ per game times the percentage of plays you played. This will encourage good players to play special teams. This is the amount of money you can earn. You still need to do the endorsement work. A percentage must be given to charity (training for pro life). If the max is something like 100K, it should be fine. This is like XFL type numbers. I’d rather have the boys get the opportunity to finish college.

  14. Fine. Pay them. But they have to get into the schools legitimately. There should be blind admissions, so the admissions office treats every application the same. The students must take legitimate courses, not underwater basket weaving.

  15. lambeaurules says:
    October 3, 2019 at 7:54 am
    Free college isn’t enough payment?
    ——————————————————————————————-
    It’s not. There are hundreds of homeless student athletes. Many have to use their monthly stipends to pay bills for their parents and such. It’s honestly a crazy system when you think about it. A lot of these kids come from unfathomable circumstances. There are students who are on scholarship who also make money from their Youtube accounts. How come athletes can’t make money from their name an likeness? There the ones making the money.

  16. I wonder how this is really going to work? If the NCAA and the schools have the trade mark rights and don’t grant permission for the athletes to use them what are you endorsing? How many times you see a commercial with an athlete and still ask someone who is that? Sometimes when they aren’t wearing team gear it’s hard to know who some of these athletes are and that’s talking about pros. Now take a college player and put him in the same situation why would a business invest in a player outside of his local area that nobody knows? Should be interesting to see how this ends up working out.

  17. benniehifive says:
    October 3, 2019 at 8:45 am
    Maybe they should care a little more about the “education” most of them are getting for free since only about 2% will get drafted.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Maybe they shouldn’t be forced to take majors that don’t amount to much after school just because the school only wants to use them for their athletic abilities and has no interest in the educational part.

  18. youngnoize says:
    October 3, 2019 at 10:07 am

    lambeaurules says:
    October 3, 2019 at 7:54 am
    Free college isn’t enough payment?
    ——————————————————————————————-
    It’s not. There are hundreds of homeless student athletes. Many have to use their monthly stipends to pay bills for their parents and such. It’s honestly a crazy system when you think about it. A lot of these kids come from unfathomable circumstances. There are students who are on scholarship who also make money from their Youtube accounts. How come athletes can’t make money from their name an likeness? There the ones making the money.

    ———————————–
    The problem I have with it is that they also end up getting a free ride. If they want to pay for their own college, food, medical care,…etc fine, make some cash off your name on the side. I certainly have no issues with doing that. My point is that I have put 2 kids through college, well one has a year and a half left. We pay for the tuition, fees, books, meals,…etc. plus my kid has to hold down a job while in college in order to make it. Many of these athletes get this stuff for free and the kid that busted his hump academically to get into a decent college pays out the butt. $100k in tuition is pretty rough for the average kid that EARNED a spot at a college based on his/her brain, a drop in the bucket for a student athlete that makes it to the NFL. The ones that are going to determine ALL of our futures, including the athletes regardless of getting drafted and making the big time or not are the ones that get in with academics. If only 2% of student athletes make the NFL, there are a ton of players that have graduated, for free, and onto something else. Do they have to pay back the tuition and all other expenses if they don’t get drafted? I would rather the money go to someone who could potentially find a cure for cancer than entertainment for sure. I love football, but we hold these people way too high upon the pedestal they are on. Sure, we get entertainment, that’s a fair argument to make, but then what? Is any past great football player having some sort of profound effect on any of our lives directly? The answer is a strong NO.The person that solves childhood cancer or Alzheimer Disease is who is going to make the biggest difference in our lives,. Perspective people!

  19. lambeaurules says:
    October 3, 2019 at 11:20 am
    youngnoize says:
    October 3, 2019 at 10:07 am

    lambeaurules says:
    October 3, 2019 at 7:54 am
    Free college isn’t enough payment?
    ——————————————————————————————-
    It’s not. There are hundreds of homeless student athletes. Many have to use their monthly stipends to pay bills for their parents and such. It’s honestly a crazy system when you think about it. A lot of these kids come from unfathomable circumstances. There are students who are on scholarship who also make money from their Youtube accounts. How come athletes can’t make money from their name an likeness? There the ones making the money.

    ———————————–
    The problem I have with it is that they also end up getting a free ride. If they want to pay for their own college, food, medical care,…etc fine, make some cash off your name on the side. I certainly have no issues with doing that. My point is that I have put 2 kids through college, well one has a year and a half left. We pay for the tuition, fees, books, meals,…etc. plus my kid has to hold down a job while in college in order to make it. Many of these athletes get this stuff for free and the kid that busted his hump academically to get into a decent college pays out the butt. $100k in tuition is pretty rough for the average kid that EARNED a spot at a college based on his/her brain, a drop in the bucket for a student athlete that makes it to the NFL. The ones that are going to determine ALL of our futures, including the athletes regardless of getting drafted and making the big time or not are the ones that get in with academics. If only 2% of student athletes make the NFL, there are a ton of players that have graduated, for free, and onto something else. Do they have to pay back the tuition and all other expenses if they don’t get drafted? I would rather the money go to someone who could potentially find a cure for cancer than entertainment for sure. I love football, but we hold these people way too high upon the pedestal they are on. Sure, we get entertainment, that’s a fair argument to make, but then what? Is any past great football player having some sort of profound effect on any of our lives directly? The answer is a strong NO.The person that solves childhood cancer or Alzheimer Disease is who is going to make the biggest difference in our lives,. Perspective people!
    ——————————————————————————————
    I’m not quite understanding the gripe. Your kids are allowed to work jobs while furthering education. These kids aren’t. Sports is basically a job when you factor in the amount of hours spent a day. They don’t have time to work like your kids do.

  20. youngnoize says:
    October 3, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    lambeaurules says:
    October 3, 2019 at 11:20 am
    youngnoize says:
    October 3, 2019 at 10:07 am

    lambeaurules says:
    October 3, 2019 at 7:54 am
    Free college isn’t enough payment?
    ——————————————————————————————-
    It’s not. There are hundreds of homeless student athletes. Many have to use their monthly stipends to pay bills for their parents and such. It’s honestly a crazy system when you think about it. A lot of these kids come from unfathomable circumstances. There are students who are on scholarship who also make money from their Youtube accounts. How come athletes can’t make money from their name an likeness? There the ones making the money.

    ———————————–
    The problem I have with it is that they also end up getting a free ride. If they want to pay for their own college, food, medical care,…etc fine, make some cash off your name on the side. I certainly have no issues with doing that. My point is that I have put 2 kids through college, well one has a year and a half left. We pay for the tuition, fees, books, meals,…etc. plus my kid has to hold down a job while in college in order to make it. Many of these athletes get this stuff for free and the kid that busted his hump academically to get into a decent college pays out the butt. $100k in tuition is pretty rough for the average kid that EARNED a spot at a college based on his/her brain, a drop in the bucket for a student athlete that makes it to the NFL. The ones that are going to determine ALL of our futures, including the athletes regardless of getting drafted and making the big time or not are the ones that get in with academics. If only 2% of student athletes make the NFL, there are a ton of players that have graduated, for free, and onto something else. Do they have to pay back the tuition and all other expenses if they don’t get drafted? I would rather the money go to someone who could potentially find a cure for cancer than entertainment for sure. I love football, but we hold these people way too high upon the pedestal they are on. Sure, we get entertainment, that’s a fair argument to make, but then what? Is any past great football player having some sort of profound effect on any of our lives directly? The answer is a strong NO.The person that solves childhood cancer or Alzheimer Disease is who is going to make the biggest difference in our lives,. Perspective people!
    ——————————————————————————————
    I’m not quite understanding the gripe. Your kids are allowed to work jobs while furthering education. These kids aren’t. Sports is basically a job when you factor in the amount of hours spent a day. They don’t have time to work like your kids do.

    ——————————
    The gripe is that they are getting a FREE RIDE to begin with! Very few of them make the NFL or any other pro sports category basically and on the dime of the rest of the students/parents whos family pays significantly higher tuition because of it, cause and effect in action plain and simple! You do realize the reason that schools charge so much for tuition is to help support their athletic/extra-curricular programs right? So basically anyone who is a non student athlete basically pics up the tab in the form of higher tuition cost. I have absolutely NO problem with them making money for their recognition at all, have them pay tuition with those funds instead of being treated like Gods and worshiped. I LOVE football with a fiery passion, but the money athletes makes is ridiculous! Would i turn it down? absolutely not, you’d have to be stupid to do so. The problem with it is students who are actually going to accomplish meaningful change in our lives, like research into diseases and things of that ilk, are the ones we should be looking up to and paying for their college, not for entertainment.

  21. youngnoize says:
    October 3, 2019 at 10:12 am

    benniehifive says:
    October 3, 2019 at 8:45 am
    Maybe they should care a little more about the “education” most of them are getting for free since only about 2% will get drafted.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Maybe they shouldn’t be forced to take majors that don’t amount to much after school just because the school only wants to use them for their athletic abilities and has no interest in the educational part.
    ___________________________________

    The school has no interest in their education, well what about the players, they pick their own majors, not the school and a lot of them pick the easiest ones possible like sports management, PE, liberal studies, etc. Then there’s the fact that a lot of these kids are picking their school solely on the basis of its football program or HC and they don’t give the schools academics one second of thought? So please tell me again who’s fault it is? Since less than 1% of these players that start college on a football scholarship will actually make it onto an NFL team then maybe its the players that should be the ones putting a lot more thought into what they are going to take in school that’ll benefit them when they don’t get in the NFL, especially since 99% of them WON’T! Obviously they don’t care either so why should the school?

    Way too many of these players come out after 4yrs of college and they still can not compose a correct sentence, too many of them went to school solely on the possibility of making it into the NFL. Just listen to a lot of them talk, studdering, stammering, double negatives, every third word is “and”, “um” or “ah” and a lot of the time they’ll use all three together, I know they don’t teach those things in college!

    But its the schools fault, gimme’ a break!

  22. Steve Cunningham says:
    October 3, 2019 at 2:05 pm
    youngnoize says:
    October 3, 2019 at 10:12 am

    benniehifive says:
    October 3, 2019 at 8:45 am
    Maybe they should care a little more about the “education” most of them are getting for free since only about 2% will get drafted.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Maybe they shouldn’t be forced to take majors that don’t amount to much after school just because the school only wants to use them for their athletic abilities and has no interest in the educational part.
    ___________________________________

    The school has no interest in their education, well what about the players, they pick their own majors, not the school and a lot of them pick the easiest ones possible like sports management, PE, liberal studies, etc. Then there’s the fact that a lot of these kids are picking their school solely on the basis of its football program or HC and they don’t give the schools academics one second of thought? So please tell me again who’s fault it is? Since less than 1% of these players that start college on a football scholarship will actually make it onto an NFL team then maybe its the players that should be the ones putting a lot more thought into what they are going to take in school that’ll benefit them when they don’t get in the NFL, especially since 99% of them WON’T! Obviously they don’t care either so why should the school?

    Way too many of these players come out after 4yrs of college and they still can not compose a correct sentence, too many of them went to school solely on the possibility of making it into the NFL. Just listen to a lot of them talk, studdering, stammering, double negatives, every third word is “and”, “um” or “ah” and a lot of the time they’ll use all three together, I know they don’t teach those things in college!

    But its the schools fault, gimme’ a break!
    —————————————————————————————–
    Have you heard of academic advisors? Did you play sports in college? If no, this isn’t for you.

  23. I feel like most people on this thread never played a sport in college, so they have absolutely know idea what they’re talking about. There are thousands of students who are on academic scholarships who make money either because they’re allowed to work or through social media. Should they pay the university those profits as well. Without the athletes (and really good ones), these schools don’t profit nearly as much. I don’t get the logic behind the pay your way through crowd. They have special talents that bring in billions of dollars and that’s why their afforded scholarships. They provide amenities for everyone else on campus. Also, if you have to use the money made off of your likeness to pay for the education, what’s the point in even attending?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.