Justin Fields and Sam Ehlinger both seem to support the Fair Pay to Play Act recently signed into law in California. That law would allow collegiate athletes to profit off their likeness in the form of endorsements. The fact that two prominent college football quarterbacks support the law is a big win for those in favor of similar legislation across the country. It also proves that college athletes are thinking about this stuff.
While Ohio State's athletic director and head football coach came out against the law on Tuesday, Fields seemed to support it. The Buckeyes' Heisman Trophy-contending signal-caller thinks some athletes need the money more than others. He said he believes players should be paid based on their economic backgrounds.
Here's what he had to say:
"I think some student-athletes need the money, of course, because not every student-athlete grows up in the same background; some student-athletes have poorer backgrounds than others. I haven't really thought about it much, but I definitely think that some should be paid, in terms of the way they've grown up."
Meanwhile, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger signaled his support for the new law as a "step in the right direction":
"I think it's a great start. I still believe that players should benefit off their likeness, things of that nature. ... I don't know the details of how it should be in play. And that's not up to me. I'm not a lawmaker. I'm not going to create anything. I believe in players being able to benefit from that, but I don't know what that looks like necessarily."
So while some engage in pearl-clutching about the end of college athletics as we know it, it's clear the players are inclined towards the California model.
Frankly, we should be asking more players what they think because they're a huge part of this equation. We all understand conferences, schools and coaches want to maintain the status quo. Which makes sense, since they're making out like bandits under the current situation. But the players are the ones affected by it, and should be giving their thoughts on the matter.