HawkeyeNation Quiz: How Well Do You Understand ‘Fair Pay To Play’?
Earlier this week the State of California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows college athletes the right to earn money on their own likeness. This will have profound implications for college athletes, the NCAA, and the University of Iowa and its fellow colleges and universities. It takes effect in 2023.
How well do you understand the law? Take our quiz and find out:
What, exactly, does California’s Fair Pay to Play Act mean for the NCAA and its members schools?
- The NCAA and its members will have to find new sources of revenue in order to pay athletes, whose current compensation mostly includes tuition and room and board
- Many colleges will be forced to either drop sports that don’t produce enough revenue or will choose to move down a division in order to reduce costs
- Very little, since the law doesn’t require the NCAA or its members to pay college athletes
The Fair Pay to Play Act is about letting human beings in the United States make money off their own names and likenesses. If this law had been passed in Iowa, then hypothetically speaking a major Iowa-based company such as Casey’s General Stores could pay the Hawkeye and Cyclone starting quarterbacks $50,000 each to star in a commercial and the players would be allowed to take the compensation.
True or false: The Fair Pay to Play Act is about paying athletes.
Again, neither the NCAA nor any school is being told to pay anyone. Their only cost output will be the continued bartering system: college tuition and a place to live in exchange for student-athletes’ services.
True or false: This is yet another political fight that divides along party lines, right?
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Although the first state to take serious action is California, considered a progressive state, the generally conservative South Carolina state legislature will begin discussions of a similar bill next year (it likely will not pass, according to South Carolina news outlets).
Meanwhile, U.S. Representative and Republican Anthony Gonzalez, a former Ohio State football player, said this week that he plans to introduce a federal Fair Pay to Play Act for Congressional consideration.
Won’t the Act lead to the corruption of college athletics?
- Yes, definitely, because presently college sports are so delicate and pure
- Yes, without a doubt, and who knows: giant corporations like Nike, Frito-Lay and Dr. Pepper might become more visible in college sports than many of the players
- No. College sports has been a cesspool of corporate interests, immoral alumni boosters, and hypocritical universities since the 19th century
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Read Michael Oriard’s Bowled Over, Dan Wetzel’s Death to the BCS, or Murray Sperber’s College Sports Inc. if you need this point clarified. Or, just open your eyes and look around.
True or false: College athletes are already paid.
Answer: It depends how you define “paid.”
Former University of Arizona basketball player Andre Iguodala describes it this way: You’re not really paid, you’re given a voucher for an exchange of services – a gift card, essentially, in which the athlete trades their body for an education. The college gives a student-athlete a voucher worth between $15,000 and $60,000 a year, depending on the school, to cover tuition, and in return makes millions to help promote the university.
Obviously a college education is expensive, but how would you like it at your job if instead of getting a paycheck they paid your rent or mortgage for you and gave you a Hy-Vee gift card for groceries? You’re trading your labor for the security of housing and food. Isn’t that enough? Wait … you’re saying you want more? You want to take a vacation? You’ve had your eyes on a cool new jacket? You’d like more savings?
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Thing is, it’s a bogus question to begin with. There aren’t many jobs in the United States that prevent you from earning additional money. Imagine an electrician being told she can’t build websites for clients during her free time. Imagine a lawyer being told he can’t hire an agent to help sell his novel.
Why are some people opposed to the Fair Pay to Play Act?
- They don’t yet understand all of the facts
- They don’t want to understand all of the facts
- They don’t like it when things change
- They’re jealous of athletes and don’t understand why they get paid so much
- They’re mean
- Some of the above
- All of the above
Answer: All are correct
Short-answer question: Why should this matter to the Hawkeyes?
Answer: Surely California won’t be the last state to adopt a fair-pay act. If you’re a high school athlete deciding between the Hawkeyes and, say, the University of Illinois, and the State of Illinois lets college athletes earn money while the State of Iowa does not, the Hawkeyes will suddenly find themselves on the losing end of recruiting.
The bottom line is this: If fair-pay acts spread to other states, Iowa will have to pass its own to have any hope of ever again competing in college sports.
* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.