On September 30, 2019, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed the Fair Pay to Play Act which prohibited universities from taking away an athlete’s scholarship should they choose to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL). This was a monumental moment in college athletics as numerous lawsuits against the NCAA had been filed by former and current athletes due to the unfair nature of “amateurism.” With California getting the ball rolling and the Supreme Court pressuring the NCAA to change their outdated ways, the NCAA withdrew their rule stating that student athletes could not monetize their NIL. While this was a massive step forward in regard to compensating athletes for the time and effort they put into their sport that in turn generates revenue for the school, it also posed many questions that needed an in-depth look into including how this will affect non-revenue generating sports. This study aims to measure the student-athlete knowledge surrounding name, image, and likeness, as well as capture the athletes, coaches, and administrators' projections of the future implications of this policy. On the surface, this is a wonderful opportunity for college athletes. However, with the variability in the popularity and profitability between revenue generating and non-revenue generating sports, this does not put student-athletes on a level playing field to profit off their name, image, and likeness. With non-revenue generating sports falling vastly behind revenue generating sports, a further divide between these two segments of collegiate sports will form. Though there is an opportunity for all collegiate athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness, the feasibility of putting these athletes on a level playing field is slim. In addition, with this new era comes a whole new set of rules for recruiting tactics and the desire to get more influential athletes. The data collected for this thesis, in conjunction with this new rule, implies that sports producing more influential athletes will be given more money as more eyes will be on the individual athletes. This will leave smaller sports behind because it will continue to create a divide between revenue generating and non-revenue generating sports. This gap will be created by increasing the publicity and recognition surrounding the revenue generating sports, while pushing less relevant sports further behind.
- The Implications of the Interim NIL Policy on College Athletics