To my parents and future parents out there.
You’re taking your kids to baseball, football or soccer practice. They love playing the game. You love that they love playing the game. And everyone is having a great time.
The years pass by. You spend a small fortune on league fees, physicals and sports equipment, but one day you get some great news.
Your kids get to play the game they love while getting a college education. Heck, I don’t have kids but just typing that sentence made me happy.
Now, you still have to pay some tuition in most cases and will still also have to come out of pocket for housing, food, and books. Even it’s a complete “free ride” the bills will pile up. Meanwhile, that school is going to profit from your kid’s likeness on their merchandise. We’re talking about clothing, video games, television contracts, all of it. It’s an industry in the billions and people are getting very wealthy from it.
Despite the hard work and investment made by you and your kid, you won’t see a dime of that money. And even worse, your child could get hurt in this billion dollar industry and everything disappears.
Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?
It’s not often I say Florida should do anything that California does, but Cali has just signed a law that allows students to make money from their likeness. They can even hire an agent if they like.
It’s time for Florida student athletes to be allowed to beat back an expensive college experience with money that’s due to them.
Now, let’s be clear. Nothing happens to the school in this process. The schools don’t like it because it means less money for them and the NCAA. During this process they’ll try to have you believe otherwise.
“Well, the education is payment.” they’ll say.
What a weak excuse. What kind of experience allows an organization to make so much money off of a young athlete, only to leave them in debt?
The good news is that this is Florida. We’re capable of crafting much smarter legislation. This can be done in a fashion that protects schools while giving our student athletes the money they deserve.
Legislation has been filed (story HERE) but it’s poorly written. Scrap that and do it right.
There will be push back. But it comes down to one question.
Should strangers profit off of your kid’s hard work, without your family being compensated or even recognized.
The answer is no and certainly not in the great state of Florida.
It’s time to start taking care of our college athletes.