“It is a sign of the times that we in college athletics must continually adapt, albeit in a sensible manner. We need to stay current with what’s happening. I’m glad [the Fair Pay to Play Act] was passed because it pushes the envelope, it pushes the issue.” – Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Men’s Basketball Head Coach
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he supports California’s Fair Pay to Play Act on Tuesday.
The Fair Pay to Play Act, signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 30, will allow college athletes in California to be paid for the use of their name, image and likeness. California schools will not pay athletes under the new bill, but athletes will be allowed to hire agents and seek out business deals.
While the five-time national champion coach did not name the NCAA specifically in the statement, he made it clear that the organization’s current guidelines are no longer sufficient — urging for a nation-wide initiative to act in the best interest of student-athletes.
“While we have made significant progress in recent years, we have not always responded to the needs and rights of our players swiftly, and frankly, we’re playing catch-up after years of stagnant rules,” Krzyzewski said.”I hope and trust that not only will there be a plan to put the student-athletes’ best interests at the forefront, but that we’ll also have a firm plan for implementation at the national level.”
Krzyzewski, who coached No. 1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson last season, has in the past indicated his desire for players to be compensated for their likeness. Just hours after Krzyzewski came out in support of the California law, Auburn’s sixth-year head basketball coach offered his own thoughts on the legislation.
“I do agree that what they’ve got to do is they’ve got to take the system that they have and make it better,” Bruce Pearl said.“Find a way to have the athletes be able to benefit from their image and their likeness without changing the whole system. I think there’s a way to make it better. I think they’re on the right track, and I hope they’ll find a way to do that.”
Pearl joins Krzyzewski as one of the few big-name coaches to back the bill, which has spurred similar legislative proposals in other states, including Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and South Carolina — though the timelines for each varies from the one recently signed into law in California.
Other coaches to come out in support of the bill including Notre Dame’s Mike Brey and Louisville’s Chris Mack.
This story first appeared in The NightCap, CollegeAD’s evening newsletter. The NightCap delivers the day’s college athletics news in simple bullet points, giving you what you need to know in just a few lines. Get The NightCap today.