NFLPA Wants to Help College Athletes Receive Compensation Following California's Fair Pay to Play Act

On Monday, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and the National College Players Association (NCPA) announced that they will examine different ways to help college athletes receive payment for the name, image and likeness.

"Under REP Worldwide, the group licensing subsidiary of NFL Players, Inc., we will look to advance and market the group licensing rights of college athletes of all sports," the statement from the NFLPA said.

The statement by the NFLPA comes after California recently passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allowed student-athletes in the state to receive compensation for the name, image and likeness. The Bill, which was co-sponsored by the NCPA, led to several other states, including Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, to begin drafting similar legislation.

The Bill signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, generated differing opinions among athletes, coaches and fans, but according to CBS Sports, the NCAA Board of Governors is planning a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a new "set of principles" regarding college athletes receiving compensation.

"To date, college athletes' group licensing and broadcast rights have been sold by schools, conferences and the NCAA. These organizations take all revenues and profit derived off the athletes' work without even acknowledging that athletes deserve a fair share," the statement wrote. "Under this new partnership, the NFLPA and the NCPA will explore opportunities for merchandise, gaming and other officially licensed products."

The NCPA, according to its website, is a nonprofit advocacy group launched by UCLA football players that serves as a single independent voice for college athletes across the nation. The organization is made up of 20,000 current and former college athletes.

Although the Fair Pay to Play act will not go into effect until 2023, the announcement by the NFLPA could pose as a major influence as it is among the first organizations to publicly support the bill.

"REP Worldwide was created to offer all athletes the same world-class service that NFL players have," said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director and NFL Players Inc. chairman. "We are proud to partner with the NCPA to offer this service to students who are also athletes. For the first time, a legislature has indicated that these students have rights just like everyone else and we support this continuing movement towards fairness."

The statement by the NFLPA also includes a plan to help college athletes that are treated unfairly after suffering a major injury.

"The NCPA also plans to design an injured athletes fund derived from generated revenues, because colleges too often leave their current and former players to pay out-of-pocket sports-related medical bills. The fund would also assist former players who suffer with cognitive disability associated with contact sports and yet have been ignored by NCAA sports," the statement said.

Although California is the only state to pass a bill allowing college athletes to receive compensation, the NFLPA and NCPA collaboration is planning to assist other states that are considering the same legislation so the process can be completed faster.

"The NCPA is doing all it can to ensure lawmakers from all states adopt model legislation posted on its web site. In addition, the NCPA is calling on parents of recruits to contact their lawmakers and urge them to support this effort," the statement said.

DeMaurice Smith
NFLPA Executive Chairman DeMaurice Smith partners with NCPA to explore marketing and license opportunities for college athletes Teresa Kroeger/Getty
NFLPA Wants to Help College Athletes Receive Compensation Following California's Fair Pay to Play Act | Sports