At the press conference today, LeBron addressed the problem of NCAA players not getting paid for their services and how hopefully that will change in the near future. As a high-school superstar, LeBron had the possibility to go to every single university out there but he made the decision to directly go to the NBA because of his financial situation.
LeBron said the decision to skip college level for him was strictly of financial matter and how the only one who would benefit from that decision would be the Ohio State University. They would exclusively have the rights from selling his jersey or using his image in various promotional activities. LeBron believes college athletes should be in a position to make money out of their careers even on the NCAA level.
“That 23 jersey would have been sold all over the place without my name on the back. My body would have been on the NCAA game 2004. The [arena] would have been sold out every single night. Me and my mom didn’t have anything and we wouldn’t be able to benefit at all from it. The university would be able to capitalize on everything, during the time I would be there for that one year or two years. I understand what those kids are going through and I feel for those kids who’s been going through it for so long.”
It seems there is a wind of change when it comes to college players receiving financial benefits from their respective sports. The State of California made history after they signed a bill that will enable college athletes to sign endorsement deals. They will also be able to hire agents while at the same time protect their collegiate eligibility. This will essentially mean they have the right to monetize their name, image, and likeness. The Fair Pay to Play Act won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2023 however it’s a great step moving forward for every college athlete out there.