Being a college athlete is one of the biggest time commitments a student can make. And in all aspects of life, time is money. This leads to a fundamental question: should student athletes have the ability to be paid?
Illinois has introduced a bill that- if passed- will allow student athletes to be able to get sponsorships in order to get paid.
“My goal is to get this passed into law so that we’re on a level playing field with California,” said Illinois state Rep. Emanuel Welch in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
California set into state law that by 2023 student athletes will be compensated for their time and effort.
For Illinois, the bill does not set it up to be a set wage, but let the players be eligible to be sponsored by outside sources, thus leading to student athletes being able to get money. This bill, if passed, would make Illinois rival recruitment rates compared to California, who passed this bill already.
To put it lightly, student athletes deserve compensation for the work they put into their athletics. It is not nearly good enough to just give scholarships to these students, because most of them still are not the full-rides that most people think they are. And that is if they are even to get athletic scholarships because NCAA DIII schools are not allowed to give athletic scholarships to their athletes.
Those who oppose this bring up the fact that these students get compensated through their scholarships, and also that if they paid their athletes, then the tuition would drastically rise and some schools cannot afford it.
To the first point was dispelled, because only a small percentage of students get scholarships to play sports. Even less of those students get full rides to those schools.
To counter the second point, the highest-paid public officials are usually head coaches, mostly football coaches. These officials make multiple millions of dollars to coach this sport, at the same time their players do not get a cent of a wage outside of scholarships.
To be more clear, the NCAA is a multi-billion dollar industry. They would not be impacted all that harshly if Illinois passes this bill.
This would incentivize students of all levels to try harder to be recruited to Illinois schools. This even spreads to community college athletes. Those athletes can also be recruited and get paid to do what they are good at.
All student athletes deserve to be rewarded for the many years and countless hours of training they endured to get where they are now and an Illinois bill might just make it so.