Tennessee Sen. Kelsey Wants State’s College Student-Athletes to Be Paid to Play, Like in California



California’s law allowing college student-athletes to be paid could lead to Tennessee and other states to rush to join the bandwagon, WREG reports.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play law this week, permitting college student-athletes to have endorsement deals and thereby profit from the use of their name and image, the station said.

According to Newsom’s website:

Currently, student athletes are barred by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from earning compensation from their association with college sports even though their respective college or university can make millions from their athletic performance. That participation often comes at great risk to students’ health, academic success, and professional prospects. Nationwide, colleges and universities make $14 billion each year from student athletics and the NCAA takes in $1 billion annually.

The bill, which passed the California Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, becomes the first law of its kind in the nation to allow college student athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

Tennessee State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-TN-31) of Germantown said the current rule is out of date, so he wants to introduce a similar bill in January, according to a story by television station WSMV. His reasoning is that California’s law could potentially hurt recruiting by schools in Tennessee. Florida, Illinois and South Carolina are considering similar legislation.

Deonna Davis, a former Vanderbilt University Commodores women’s basketball player and current director of women’s basketball at Tennessee State University, told WSMV California’s law will change recruiting as teams work to be competitive.

Even as Tennessee rushes to join California, the NCAA had urged the Golden State to hold off on paying players.

A letter from the NCCA Board of Governors to Newsom read in part:

If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions. These outcomes are untenable and would negatively impact more than 24,000 California student-athletes across three divisions.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Tennessee Football Players” by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District. CC BY-SA 2.o.




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5 Thoughts to “Tennessee Sen. Kelsey Wants State’s College Student-Athletes to Be Paid to Play, Like in California”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Greed is an ugly thing.

    If you don’t want to PLAY under the current arrangement then go try out for the pros.

  2. tom hendrix

    As poorly as the Vols played this season who in their right mind would cut them a check. They can’t even fill the stadium anymore. Gotta win boys before the pay check comes

  3. john

    This is disgusting ! A scholarship and a degree paid for by the university to play football is payment. Not to mention they are treated as a cash cows by the administration … university is not a professional sports farm team organization !

  4. ron stone

    A scholarship and a degree paid for by the university to play football is payment.

  5. Russ

    This type of thing will be the end of collage sports. No way that a small collage could pay, if so would be much less. Small collages would be out of the sports business, only thing left will be large collages. The end of sports in collages.