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In the United States, college sports have a reputation for almost being as entertaining as professional sports.
U.S. college soccer players do not get paid.
It is against NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules for men's and women's college athletes - not just soccer players- to receive direct compensation from their institution or get money from endorsements or appearances related to their sport.
Instead, college athletes are often awarded with full or partial scholarships to their school.
The NCAA does not let student athletes get paid because they require them to remain as amateur players during their time in college.
To be an amateur player, you are not allowed to receive monetary payments for playing for your university.
They are also not allowed to be granted money for choosing a college to play for, though most U.S. soccer players get compensated for their efforts by being awarded a scholarship.
The scholarship would ensure that they would have most, if not all, of their school expenses paid for, as well as free room and board on campus.
If colleges and universities are found to be paying their student athletes, they would be in danger of losing their official NCAA status.
Families of student athletes are also not allowed to be paid for helping their child choose a school.
Those who are found to break the rules face a punishment of being suspended from sports for the rest of their time at college.
The fact that NCAA athletes do not get paid has been a source of controversy within the world of college sport and beyond, with many feeling that these athletes deserve to be awarded compensation - especially with college athletics being such a lucrative industry.
In April 2020, the NCAA's highest governing body signalled their support of a rule change that would allow student athletes to earn money from their name, image and likeness starting from the beginning of the 2021-22 school year- as long as their college or university does not pay them directly.
The NCAA's Board of Governorsstated it supports allowing "student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics".
This means that players will be able to earn money from their social media sponsorships as well as business they have created.
“Throughout our efforts to enhance support for college athletes, the NCAA has relied upon considerable feedback from and the engagement of our members, including numerous student-athletes, from all three divisions,” said Michael V. Drake, chairof theboard and president of Ohio State.
“Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory.”
Many have criticised the inability of student athletes to be paid in light of the NCAA's annual revenues passing the $1 billion threshold due to television contracts and marketing deals.
California Governor Gavin Newsom passed a bill in September 2019 that enabled college athletes to pen their own endorsement deals and hire their own agents.
Newsom described the bill as "the beginning of a national movement -one that transcends geographic and partisan lines."