This has been and will continue to be a discussion moving forward: should college athletes get paid?
While there are arguments for both sides why a college athlete should or shouldn't get paid, Monday afternoon brought new attention on the matter.
Sedona Prince, a redshirt freshman who will be entering her second year in Eugene, Oregon, has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA and Power 5 conferences challenging name, image and likeness restrictions.
Class action antitrust lawsuit filed against NCAA and conferences today challenging name, image, and likeness restrictions. Named plaintiffs are Grant House, current ASU swimmer and Sedona Prince, current Oregon woman's basketball player.— Gabe Feldman (@SportsLawGuy) June 15, 2020
I had to undergo several surgeries, and my bills were in the tens of thousands of dollars. And on top of that, I was stressed about the potential of my injuries keeping me from playing again. Even with all of this facing me, I was still unable to receive any outside compensation from endorsements or social media because of the NCAA. It's unfair. ... For all the hard work college athletes put in, for all the risks we take and injuries we sustain, and for all the money we generate, we should at least be able to share in the profits that can be made off of our own names, images and likenesses. If not us, who can rightfully claim that and profit from it? - Sedona Prince
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According to Steve Berkowitz of hookem.com, Berman's firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, has sued the NCAA and other defendants multiple times on a range of issues, including athlete compensation, the use of athletes' NIL in video games, concussions and the association's transfer rules.
There have been recent steps taken in the direction of student-athletes earning money off their name, image and likeness.
Less than a month ago, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a district court ruling that the NCAA had violated antitrust law with its limits on various benefits athletes can receive from their schools.
In 2019, the state of California and Governor Gavin Newsom passed the Fair Pay to Play Act that permits college athletes in the state to get paid for their name, image and likeness through endorsement deals, sponsorships, autograph signings and other similar income opportunities. Unfortunately, it won't go into effect until January 1, 2023.
The college sports industry has been immensely profitable for every party involved except the players themselves… For too long, the NCAA's bylaws, constitution and rules have governed all aspects of college sports, and we think these outdated and unnecessary regulations are unlawfully keeping college athletes from compensation that is rightfully theirs. - plaintiff's lead attorney Steve Berman
This isn't the first time Prince has had a run-in with the NCAA.
Prince sat out her freshman season at the University of Texas due to an ACL injury before transferring to Oregon. According to NCAA rules and regulations, she would have to sit out a season before suiting up in green and yellow. However, Prince applied to play right away since technically she had already sat out a season and was yet to make her collegiate basketball debut. Her claim was denied and she sat out the 2019-2020 season in Eugene, Oregon.
Prince has quite the social media following, especially on the ever-popular TikTok platform having 62.3k followers on her personal account.
While it may be some time before college athletes will be allowed to earn some sort of compensation for their talents, Prince has been and will continue to be a voice for change on this subject.
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