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Did the headline have you answering the question to yourself, but out loud? This is one of those discussions that really doesn't see much gray area. Those who are against it, are really against it. And those for it, are just as passionate about their thoughts.

In a small, informal, certainly unscientific, poll that I conducted among several of my friends, the responses of both sides of the issue were much alike.

Most naysayers believe that athletes are already given a free (through scholarships) education and that is compensation enough. Those who agree with the concept believe that colleges and conferences make millions off the use of these athletes names and images and should share the wealth with those athletes.

If Louisiana Senator Patrick Connick's proposed bill passes, college athletes in the Bayou State would be allowed to profit from the use of their name, image or likeness.

I feel like I've got a pretty good grasp on both sides of this argument, but it really doesn't matter what Louisiana lawmakers pass or not, the decision will ultimately belong to the National College Athletic Association, the NCAA.

As the governing body of collegiate athletics, the NCAA solely determines the eligibility of these athletes and at present, players forfeit their "amateur" status if they are compensated in any form for activities like this.

However, Senator Connick, in an interview with the Louisiana Radio Network, says, “It’s not a pay-for-play program, it’s for amateur athletes to benefit from their work and their name.”

The Senator goes on to say that because other states have already passed legislation like his proposal, this will give Louisiana athletes a reason to stay here instead of opting for greener pastures in those other states. “We want to keep our athletes in Louisiana and this will give them an incentive to stay here, hopefully, this will put pressure on the NCAA to get their act together and make a unified system.”

If passed, the law would take effect on January 1, 2023.

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