Former QC college athletes react to legislation on possible payment

MOLINE, Illinois – After California passed legislation allowing college athletes to receive payment from endorsements, lawmakers of other states are considering following suit.  High-profile college athletes could make about $25,000 a year, but some former athletes have concerns on the impact it could have on an athlete’s education.

Former Hawkeye basketball star, Nicholas Baer, believes college athletes don’t reap the benefits when it comes to college sports.

“There no other place, business, or any other field or industry where you try to limit anyone’s ability to make money,” says Baer during a podcast with News 8’s, Matt Randazzo.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker supported legislation Monday morning, giving Illinois college athletes the chance to make money off endorsements for their name, image, and likeness.  Baer and other athletes believe it’s a matter of time before all states adopt legislation like California.

“What a lot of people don’t understand is that their highest earning – maybe in their lifetime – are when they are in college and if they’re being denied that for amateurism, I think that’s something they should look at,” explains Baer.

Julian Vandervelde, former Iowa Guard, has a different view on the college athlete debate.

“I have my concerns,” says Vandervelde. “Primarily in the status of college athletes as far as their amateur status.  I think the focus still has to be on that you are a student-athlete, you are a student first.”

Vandervelde sees the possible endorsements as a way for some colleges to be favored over others.

“I think it’s a slippery slope of which school has the best academic advantages to which schools have the best monetary advantages, or which schools’ boosters’ own businesses that are willing to pay their players,” explains Vandervelde.

Baer believes the money is something that could pay off.

“It would roughly be $25,000 a year for the high-profile athletes, which isn’t much, but it’s better than zero,” Baer says. “Whether the NCAA wants it or not, it’s coming.  So, I think it’s about adjusting it and trying to manage it instead of trying to keep the current model.”

If any legislation is passed, all endorsements players agree to would have to be disclosed to the college – scholarships would not be compensated.

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