By Gabriel Wiest–
After California passed their collegiate Fair Pay to Play Act, Kentucky State Senator Morgan McGarvey is looking to follow in their footsteps.
If passed, the law would ensure that Kentucky’s collegiate athletics remain competitive against California. With California’s universities like UCLA being able to pay players starting in 2023, this could have a negative effect on Kentucky recruiting efforts.
Dozens of states are attempting to mimic California’s ground breaking act, including Illinois and Pennsylvania. On the federal level, the House of Representatives has also been toying with the idea of national pay-to-play legislation.
The NCAA commented in response to the California legislation stating that it is an existential threat to collegiate sports. However, public support for pay-for-play is at an all-time high.
McGarvey said, “When you see a place like California and all of it’s universities doing something like this we want to make sure that Kentucky is also positioned on the forefront of being fair to its college athletes.”
The California legislation includes prohibiting the NCAA from penalizing athletes for receiving compensation and prohibiting colleges from rebuking scholarships. These two key elements are at the foundation of McGarvey’s law.
Both the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky earn in the top 20 national revenue for the NCAA, amassing over $134 million each.
In context to basketball, U of L and UK both are the most profitable teams taking the one and two spot in accordance to NCAA revenue rankings. Louisville averaged $30.4 million and Kentucky at $22.9 million in the last three years.
With these massive revenues for in-state teams, if Kentucky colleges had the ability to compensate players, this could ensure collegiate recruiting dominance.
McGarvey also explained how the compensation of players is critical to the treatment of college athletes.
“We want to make sure that those athletes are getting treated fairly and that we continue that for years to come,” said McGarvey.
The bill will be introduced in the next session of the Kentucky General Assembly at the beginning of next year.
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal