By: Bryan Rombot
Earlier this fall, California passed a bill called the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” which – for the first time – will – allow student-athletes in the state to hire agents, endorse products, and to make money off the commercial use of their likenesses beginning in 2023.
As of now, no state in the nation has such a policy. But California’s new law was a response to the effort that has been gaining steam in recent years to provide some form of compensation to student-athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which generates $1 billion-a-year, has long resisted having student-athletes receive money outside of the college scholarships they earn while enrolled in school.
But a major change, the NCAA announced on Oct. 9 that it will enable students to be paid, via the use of their names and images. Still, a lot about the new rule remains unknown as of now. At the moment, the NCAA’s three divisions are currently working out the specifics of the new policy before releasing those details publicly.
And while all of these developments are playing out nationwide, LIU’s Athletic Director Dr. William E. Martinov is taking a wait-and-see approach. “For us at LIU, I think I’m not so sure how the new laws will directly affect us and our student-athletes,” he told Seawanhaka in a recent sit-down interview.
Asked what he thought about the concept of providing additional financial rewards to student-athletes, Martinov was reluctant to weigh in. “I’m not sure anybody can take a clear stand on it. There’s not enough information for us right now to consider a position,” he said. “It’s just that it’s so early in the conversation that [a lot of] information is evolving and I think that anybody who makes good decisions gets the information [before] you start to come to [any] conclusions, one way or the other.”
Martinov added that LIU itself cannot make decisions on its own as it relates to compensating student-athletes and that it can only follow the procedures that are currently in place from the NCAA and New York State. In the meantime, State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) proposed a bill in September – which is modeled after California’s law – that calls for student- athletes in New York to profit off their names and likenesses.