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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: California’s Trumpian claim that NCAA rules don’t apply to us

UCLA football players take the field at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley in 2010.
UCLA football players take the field at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley in 2010.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Senate Bill 106 regarding compensation to college athletes is the stupidest piece of legislation that I have seen passed in California since I first took a course in state government more than 50 years ago.

The National Collegiate Athletic Assn. is a voluntary organization. Schools that join must abide by its rules. Now California, like President Trump, comes along arbitrarily and says it does not like some of those rules and its schools don’t have to adhere to them.

If the NCAA expels all schools in the state, it is the schools that will suffer the most. They won’t have to worry about any star athletes getting compensated because all sought-after recruits will go out of state to participate in collegiate athletics.

There is no credible justification for allowing star athletes to be compensated for use of their names, images or likenesses. They only gained star status because of the investment their schools made in giving them scholarships, hiring great coaches, building facilities and more.

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It is selfish for any star collegiate athlete to seek payment because they became famous.

Jack Allen, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: Some 50 years ago, the Yale University men’s basketball team was suspended by the NCAA for allowing one of its players to participate in the “non-sanctioned” Maccabiah Games, an international multi-sport competition for Jewish athletes supervised by the International Olympic Committee.

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Democrat Robert Giaimo, my boss at the time, represented the Connecticut congressional district where Yale is located. He demanded an investigation. Despite his best efforts and those of his colleagues, they could not prevail against the all-powerful NCAA.

Today, thanks to the perseverance of the California Legislature and the support of the L.A. Times Editorial Board and others, the autocratic leaders of the NCAA may finally have met their match, and not a moment too soon.

Steve Mehlman, Beaumont

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To the editor: Left out of the discussion on paying NCAA athletes is the fact that many college athletes receive a free four-year university education for their efforts.

Also, they understand the concept of “amateur athlete” as opposed to “professional athlete” — in other words, one is not monetarily rewarded, and the other is.

Terry Ziegler, La Quinta


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