LeBron James and Frank Vogel have both weighed in already on California passing SB 206, which would allow college athletes to be paid for revenue generated directly by their names and likenesses and protect them from being punished by the NCAA for taking money. Athletes throughout sports are also singing their praise of the bill, and were joined in on that theme by Kyle Kuzma.
Unlike many of the other star athletes who’ve chimed in, Kuzma was relatively unknown on the national scale while he was attending the University of Utah. His opinion on this is interesting seeing as he would’ve stood to benefit a little less from the bill than some of his NBA counterpart, but he supports it all the same.
I got a chance to ask Kyle Kuzma, who I covered in college, his reaction to California allowing student athletes a chance to profit from endorsements. Moreso than supporting or condemning, he seemed interested in seeing how it would change the recruiting dynamic: pic.twitter.com/iWicSbkcwS— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) September 30, 2019
As has been covered all over the place in response to the conversation going on about SB 206 (and as we wrote yesterday, ourselves), what’s interesting is this doesn’t necessarily cost the NCAA anything. Kuzma points out how an athlete who has built up a platform for themselves on social media could choose to utilize that platform with commercials, something that never should have been illegal in the first place.
If an English major attending college on scholarship whose wit on social media produces for them a large enough following that they can relay that into extra revenue outside of whatever they do for the school, that isn’t a problem. But for some reason, if an athlete tries to do the same thing, they can lose their scholarship altogether.
This is just one way SB 206 hopes to allow college athletes and their families to cash in on the amount of work that got them to that level of competition, and to benefit beyond just receiving the cost of merely attending the college they help generate billions of dollars of revenue for.
Kuzma’s stance on this despite his differing background from the kinds of athletes he’s talking about is pretty exemplary. Empathy isn’t exactly at an all-time high in our society (especially regarding this subject), so it’s really cool to hear him feel for athletes who didn’t have the same experiences he did.