Although the NCAA is planning to change the rules, right now their rules prevent college athletes from getting sponsorships, working with agents, or getting any other compensation besides scholarships.
Ideally this keeps student athletes focused on academics. However, colleges, media, and the NCAA all make money off of students who never get a piece of that revenue. Some lawmakers believe that’s unfair.
Current laws on student athlete compensation
Right now the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has rules that prevent student athletes from receiving any compensation for playing sports, besides scholarships. This past fall the NCAA Board of Governors voted to revise their rules to allow some sponsorship and other advertising deals for student athletes. Those changes are still in the works, so the ban on student athlete compensation is still in effect at UNH and other New Hampshire colleges.
Rep. Garrett Muscatel is sponsoring a 2020 bill, HB 1505, which would prohibit colleges and the NCAA from blocking compensation to student athletes for use of their name, image, or likeness rights, or athletic reputation.
In other words, HB 1505 would allow college athletes in New Hampshire to get sponsorship deals, work with agents, and so on.
Supporters of student athlete compensation point out that student athletes generate millions for colleges and businesses. Last year the NCAA had annual revenue over $1 billion. It is only fair for students to get a chance at some of that money on the table. College students are not barred from holding jobs in general, so why should compensation from advertising or sponsorship deals be any different?
A detriment to academics?
Opponents argue that sponsorship deals and other compensation will distract student athletes from what should be their primary focus: an education.
Student athletes also already get compensation in the form of scholarships, the use of top-notch athletic facilities and coaches, and free travel around the country for games.