- The state of California has legalized the Fair Pay to Play Act, enabling both male and female college athletes with the ability to take on outside sponsorship deals for the money.
- The law is expected to become effective in January 2023.
- The NCAA is extremely opposed to the new law and is expected to legally oppose it before it takes effect.
LOS ANGELES – With the Fair Pay to Play Act becoming a law in the state of California last week, the spotlight went toward collegiate men's football and basketball athletes, but the law will have its fair share of effects on women’s sports. Women that play for teams in the state will now be allowed to hire agents themselves and earn money from outside endorsements. Money is just one of the perks of this law when it comes to female athletics.
Fair Pay To Play & Women
The perspective of the Fair Pay to Play Act from the point of view of women’s collegiate sports is a bit different than that of the male athlete. In some ways, it’s a double-edged sword because, on one hand, the law will give more female athletic programs a platform to receive more attention from the public and sponsorships from this publicity that was not available to them before. But, on the other hand, stipulations within the law could cause issues as to what deals can be made by the female players.
Women in sports, even more so in college sports, do not receive the same benefits male athletes do, despite the Title IX Act of 1972 by the NCAA to stop the discrimination that gave male collegiate sports top billing over women's programs. While the issues on certain contracts could arise in men's sports as well, it's expected to be more of an issue for women’s athletics.
For example, if certain players want to be paid to represent the Nike brand but their college has a contract with Adidas, that’s a conflict of interest. Colleges may lose money when certain instances such as that occur because their contracts with outside companies could be voided leaving them scrambling for funding they didn’t need to worry about before the Fair Pay to Play Act became legalized.
But the publicity alone is a tremendous stride in the world of female athletics. Women in sports are becoming more mainstream, as the US Women’s soccer team just won their second FIFA World Cup. USA online sportsbooks list collegiate odds for women's college athletic events like basketball on their sites. This market is no longer a male-dominated world. And these players get their start at the college level before they can advance to a career in sports professionally, making this new law a great stepping stone in helping them get the attention they deserve.
“Giving female athletes the ability to market themselves at a time in their careers when the spotlight is on them - when they’re in college – not only brings attention to female athletes but could be a game-changer in the public starting to respond to the brilliance of women in sports,” said state Senator Nancy Skinner.
The positive effects of this new law will ultimately impact female athletes more than male athletes. Now women and their teams will have a better chance of becoming household names, along with the potential to earn money for their abilities. Male athletic programs have already been established by fans. This will give female athletics a bigger fan base in the long run.
"I think it's a win-win," said Cecelia Townes, founder of GladiatHers, a group dedicated to advocating for women in sports. "That's why it's almost the perfect opportunity because it doesn't require the schools to pay anything.”
This law is a game-changer for female college athletes in the state of California. It also allows little girls with dreams of pursuing athletics more hope. This is only the beginning for women in sports, the movement itself is already in motion.