Pay the players.
College football conferences have had their media days and now it is down to business for college football programs and business it is. Some conferences are looking for new media contracts, some are looking to expand their streaming video content package with one intent. Bring in more money for the conferences to give to their members’ sports programs. The coaches, assistant coaches and athletic directors could in theory get more money. So could the players. But there is a problem with that. The players don’t get paid, they get a scholarship and some grants and better be ready when the call comes. Some California lawmakers would like to change that policy and the NCAA is having none of that. The California Assembly will be discussing a package called the The Fair Pay To Play Act and that proposal would force the NCAA to drop its requirement that so-called student-athletes not make any money off of their likenesses. The NCAA owns a players face and name. So-called student-athletes cannot sell their autographs or have marketing deals even with a local store. The NCAA wants to preserve the appearance of amateurism except college football is a business.
The NCAA President Marc Emmert is upset with California politicians and has warned of some unnamed dire consequences if the politicians go ahead and get the bill through the Assembly then State Senate and onto the governor’s desk for approval. Emmert is threatening that California schools would be excluded from NCAA events. But big-time football schools such as USC and UCLA are in the Los Angeles market, Stanford and the University of California are in the San Francisco market and it is hard to envision the NCAA, which has its eyes always on money, cutting out the nation’s number two and five television markets. The NCAA is all about keeping money away from the players.