PAID TO PLAY? Should NCAA players profit from their athletic performance

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It seems like everyone involved is making money except the players. Big time college sports programs attract cheering fans and bring millions of dollars to schools each year. But college athletes get nothing. No TV money, no money when their name or picture is used to sell tickets, or even video games. Our Washington Correspondent Brie Jackson got both sides of the story and shares what she found.

Some lawmakers say our situation now isn’t right.

“I believe in free markets,” Rep. Mark Walker, R North Carolina, said. “I think that is what makes America great.” 

Congressman Mark Walker says he’s introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to earn money, not from the schools, but from outside companies.

“If those folks want to go back home and work somewhere on the side to be able to have access to that likeness they are allowed to do so.”

“Under current NCAA rules, student athletes receive scholarships, but stand to lose their eligibility if they sign endorsement deals.

Walker says his bill would change that and provide income to star players, as well as those who won’t ever play professionally.

“In theory that sounds great.”

But Lisa Delpy Neirotti, sports management professor at George Washington University, says benefits should be strictly tied to education. She says adding outside money to the mix could lead to corruption. 

“Signing autographs, doing photoshoots or commercials these take hours,” Lisa Delpy Neirotti said.

Neirotti says scholarships are expensive and schools aren’t getting rich on athletics.

“There are only a handful of schools that are profiting .The majority are losing money.”

Supporters of the bill say it provides opportunity for students but opponents say only a small number of players would benefit. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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