The Fair Pay to Play Act does not mandate that players be paid. It merely allows them the option to get compensated. Female athletes, who lack viable professional playing options, stand to benefit the most.
According to the NCAA, of the 3,692 draft eligible female players, 32 were drafted in 2018. That’s about 1 percent. And as advocates such as Megan Rapinoe have highlighted, the pay disparity between professional male and female athletes is wide and deep. The maximum salary for a WNBA player is $113,500, whereas the minimum salary of an NBA player is $838,464.
Consider one example: Katelyn Ohashi. Ohashi, a former UCLA gymnast, performed a gravity-defying routine in January that not only garnered a perfect 10, but also catapulted her through the social media stratosphere. The number of views for her routine, a video hosted on the UCLA Athletics YouTube page, had attracted more than 64 million views.
For Ohashi, this moment could be the zenith of her athletic career. What if she wanted to return to her hometown of Seattle and host the Ohashi Gymnastics Camp or sign a sponsorship deal with a local car dealership?
Under the old system, she would immediately lose her scholarship. Under the Fair Pay to Play Act, Ohashi could capitalize on that narrow window of opportunity to secure private sector compensation. The money generated from the Nick Saban Football Camp may represent a blip on the balance sheet of the Alabama head football coach, but for a collegiate athlete, the extra funds could be a game changer.