Rockets’ James Harden on California’s legislation to allow NCAA student athletes to make money off image/likeness
The state of California’s move to legitimize student-athletes earning money off their likeness if the latest issue that’s taken American sports by storm. Fans are either excited or afraid of the repercussions it can bring to collegiate sports. However, players such as the Houston Rockets’ James Harden are more than excited for future collegiate ballers finally getting what they deserve should the ruling stand and not be considered veto by the Supreme Court.
During his interview with the media, Tomer Azarly asked him about what he thinks about the possibility of Californian student-athletes finally getting to use their image and likeness to earn money.
Understandably, the 2018 regular season MVP was more than happy with the progress.
I asked #Rockets‘ James Harden on the California legislation to get NCAA student-athletes paid for their image/likeness – “Finally… Everyone has that goal to be a professional. Everyone puts the same amount of work in every single day whether it’s for class or in your sport.” pic.twitter.com/Wr8QjsCAIF
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) October 2, 2019
However, the law won’t be in effect until 2023. Until that year, student-athletes will have to make do with the fact that collegiate sports is a multi-billion dollar industry while all they get in thanks for their hours of balancing studies and training is a free ride through college.
As discussed by USA Today’s John D. Hollis, the NCAA will fight to keep the status quo. The organization earns a lot of money from TV rights and merchandise sales. Alabama, the country’s premier football program, earned $148.9 million in the 2014-15 season.
The rest of the Power 5 conferences will also fight against the professionalization of collegiate sports. After all, it will turn the recruitment process into an expensive bidding war where the school with the most affluent sponsors get the top talent.
The argument that student-athletes and lobbyists for the motion is the fact that collegiate sports programs are starting to demand more from their athletes as years go by. There’s also the fact that almost any student group sans student-athletes can make money off of their image and likeness.
It will be a lengthy battle at the courts, but NBA players like Harden are more than happy to welcome this change.