RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Sports analyst and former Duke basketball standout Jay Bilas weighed in on the controversial issue of whether “Fair Pay to Play” is fair to college athletes.
Bilas met with lawmakers today on Capitol Hill as some leaders fought to let athletes profit off of their names, images, and likenesses.
The topic of the round table discussion was hosted by North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker.
A bill introduced by a representative in March will no longer allow the NCAA to stop athletes from getting paid for their name, image or likeness.
“What we are saying is that this is an injustice and in violation of an individual’s rights by saying that you are forced to sign a ban that you have no access to your image or likeness,” said Congressman Walker.
A bill recently passed in California, the “Fair Pay to Play Act” does not pay athletes for what they do on the field, but instead allows them to make money by endorsing products, signing autographs or even making appearances.
Walker says the NCAA wants no part of that.
“They’re going to continue to say this creates an opportunity for corruption and for some other things yet we are still waiting to see how they believe it could add to what we have already seen some middle man or some other agents that already exist in college sports,” said Walker.
“I’m not here to advocate for or against any legislation it’s just to discuss the issues at hand that are behind the legislation,” said Jay Bilas.
Bilas knows the issues better than anyone else. He’s played college athletics and makes his living covering NCAA sports. He also sees first hand, what some would call an injustice, levied against college athletes today.
“The only class of person we restrict, and we, being the NCAA, is an athlete,” Bilas said.
And in a multi-billion dollar business that’s really professional in every way except how the athlete is treated that’s unjustifiable in my judgment.” Bilas said.
States all across the country are lining up to take action on the issue as well.
Legislators in South Carolina, Florida and Kentucky could debate bills soon.
Other states include Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado and Washington State.
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