Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith Addresses Fair Pay to Play Act

By October 1, 2019 (12:16 pm)Football
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Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was set to discuss Ohio State’s win over Nebraska and preview this weekend’s game against Michigan State, but athletic director Gene Smith instead opened Tuesday afternoon’s press conference to discuss the name, image and likeness bill that was signed into law in California on Monday.

Here’s a brief recap of what he had to say:

  • Smith said his biggest concern is college football moving toward a pay-for-play model.
  • “It’s very difficult for us to regulate that,” he said.
  • Smith added that the use of third parties could create an unlevel playing field across college football.
  • “There are things that can be done in this space,” Smith said, but noted he can’t share any more because of his position within the NCAA working group and to not speak on behalf of his committee members.
  • “We can’t have a situation where we have schools and/or states with different rules when they’re competing against each other,” he said.
  • Smith added the key is finding consistency across the board, but if something isn’t regulated, then they’re moving on toward a whole new model. “It creates an uncompetitive advantage.”
  • Smith said the teams that already have an advantage in college football would only have a greater advantage if they could call on fans, alumni and boosters to pay players for the use of their name, image and likeness. “Your richer will be different.”
  • Smith said Ohio State would not schedule a school from California if the rules are different when it comes to paying student-athletes.
  • “There is no compromise,” Smith said, noting they NCAA hopes to come up with a plan by the end of 2020.
  • Smith said the NCAA has taken too long to modernize.
  • Speaking as an athletic director and not as the chairman of the NCAA working committee, Smith said he would find a way to maximize a law similar to SB 206 in recruiting, citing the potential use of big corporations within the city. “At that point, it just becomes a business.”
  • Smith closed by saying, “There’s no time to be a student-athlete than today.

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