How paying NCAA players could work, according to a former NFL player

An Ohio congressman is planning on introducing legislation similar to a new California law that would allow athletes to profit from their likeness and sign endorsement deals.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill Monday.

Currently, student-athletes are not allowed to earn compensation while playing college sports. The only exceptions are scholarship money from the institution, a modest housing allowance or on-campus housing and a per diem for travel days when on team-sanctioned road trips.

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, has a unique perspective on this movement since he played football for both Ohio State University and the Indianapolis Colts.

"Just the fundamental notion of whether or not college athletes should be able to make money off name, image and likeness ... I am in favor of that."

- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)

"As a general concept, I've been for that for a long time," Gonzalez told FOX Business' Connell McShane on "After The Bell." "I just think that's what's fair."

However, Sen. Gonzalez admits the devil is in the details when it comes to this proposal.

"I think the next question ... is actually the most important one, which is 'How do you do it?'" Gonzalez said on Monday. "I don't think this is the right way to go about it because what you'll end up with is sort of a legislative arbitrage where players are choosing the state based on the one with the most favorable law."

"I think what we really need is we need is we need either a federal preemption that says 'Hey, here's sort of the rules of the road,' and I think that frankly should be done alongside the NCAA."

- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)

"I know the NCAA is working on this," Gonzalez said. " I know Gene Smith, my athletic director at Ohio State is working on this specifically."

Gonzalez fears if only certain states enact this pay-for-play plan, then it will impact not only how students choose the colleges they attend but could also open the door for these student athletes to be taken advantage of.

He stands by the way to avoid a great deal of these trouble spots is to have one federal law that allows it to take place but alongside the NCAA regulations.

"That will even the playing field for everybody, and it will provide important benefits to athletes who, I think, absolutely deserve them," Gonzalez said.


Gonzalez said he hopes to introduce legislation in regard to this subject matter by the end of the year.

"But, as you know, Congress takes some time," Gonzalez laughed.