Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski speaks out in favor of Fair Pay to Play Act

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is in favor of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows college athletes to be paid for their name, image and likeness.

The coach released a statement on the bill that passed in California last week.

“The Fair Pay to Play act that was recently signed into law in California will likely lead to far-reaching change,” he wrote. “We’ve already seen similar bills introduced in several states. I don’t — and won’t — pretend to understand all the complexities of such a change. However, it is a sign of the times that we in college athletics must continually adapt, albeit in a sensible manner.

“While we have made significant progress in recent years, we have not always responded to the needs and rights of our players swiftly, and frankly, we’re playing catchup after years of stagnant rules. I hope and trust that not only will there be a plan to put student-athletes’ best interest at the forefront, but that we’ll also have a firm plan for implementation at the national level.

“College athletics provides an amazing option for hundreds of thousands of talented men and women who choose to attend institutions across the country. We must adapt to ensure it stays that way.”

Krzyzewski also told CBS Sports he believes dozens of states will pass similar legislation within the next year or two.

”We need to stay current with what’s happening,” he said. “I’m glad it was passed because it pushes the envelope, it pushes the issue.”

He continued: “We’ve had our head in the sand a lot for college. … We’re not good game planners for the future. We’re reactionary. We don’t set the pace.”

The biggest issue currently facing the bill is whether the NCAA will allow student-athletes to be paid and maintain their eligibility to play.

“The biggest worry is that when you have complete unfettered licensing agreements or unfettered endorsement deals, the model of college athletics is negligible at best and maybe doesn’t even exist,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said, via Fox News.

“Those deals would be arranged with support or engagement of school … so they do become professional employees of schools. That is what most member schools are concerned about, not that people are opposed to have an appropriate way to get some form of (compensation for athletes).”

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