Letters: How fair is the Fair Pay to Play Act?

NCAA on the run?
(Jim Thompson / For The Times)

Governor Newsom has done a favor for a few talented high school and college athletes to the detriment of many. Now a handful of talented kids will market themselves to the highest bidder, for what?

Imagine what this does to team cohesion. The star will seek every advantage, stirring up team resentment. High school coaches already face parental pressure, but will now face a quantum leap in demands that “my kid” be given more time and exposure. I can see the lawyers lining up now.

Why have athletics in the first place? Is it for healthy competition, to learn teamwork, to foster teamwork or physical health or lifelong recreation? Or is it just to hustle the almighty buck?


Long ago, in the early Pleistocene when I made my Olympic teams (20K race walk, 1976 and ‘80) I was forbidden to take a couple of hundred dollars for high school coaching. That was unreasonable, but leave it to Gavin Newsom, former mayor of a city of, by and for the very rich, to undermine all but monetary values in sports.

Larry Walker

Canoga Park


So we are going to enable the poor beleaguered scholarship athlete, who receives free room, board and tuition, to make money on endorsements, autograph signing, etc. Will the star quarterbacks and running backs then share this newfound money stream with the linemen who make their success possible?
How about this? All the money raised in this manner is put in a pot and then shared with all the other anonymous hard-working athletes in that institution .

Bert Bergen

La Cañada


Forget financial benefits for minor sport athletes resulting from California’s new legislation. Advertisers want to know that their dollars are spent wisely. That’s why endorsement opportunities will go to the major stars in football or basketball and not the guy or gal running wild on the track or volleyball court. On the other hand, you have the prospect of the wealthy and powerful old grad who controls millions of advertising dollars telling the promising high school athlete that if he (not she, women’s collegiate sports have no advertising value) signs with Dollar U, the grad can guarantee him substantial income so long as the budding star produces on the field/court. That doesn’t look much like an even playing field to this old grad.

Skip Nevell

Los Angeles

The Fair Pay for Play is a farce. Can you imagine agents for junior high kids, TV cameras in classrooms? How does no sports scholarships sound? For sure, some additional athlete benefits are in the making, but this bill is messing with the Golden Goose. Buyer beware.

Len Easton

Pacific Palisades


USC fans should be happy that SB 206 passed. When it goes into effect, expect a boatload of five-star recruits showing up on campus with six-figure endorsement deals from their billionaire booster’s public storage company.

Bennett Beebe


Back to drawing board


Dear General Helton:

It appears USC football opponents are setting up Anti-ballistic tactics to combat the Air Raid offense. It’s time to use both air and ground attacks.

Jim Amormino

Rancho Palos Verdes


So Clay Helton says USC is only five or six plays away from being a title contender. Right, and if the Titanic had not hit that one giant iceberg it would not have sunk.

Darryl Thomson

La Cañada


For several years and under several coaches the USC football team has displayed a consistent lack of self-discipline that is manifest in countless game-changing penalties for unnecessary roughness, taunting, unwarranted celebration, encroachment, delay of game, and on and on. Fine teams are tight, efficient machines; the Trojans have been undisciplined even at their best. Does the recent disappointing history represent poor coaching or simply the acts of exceedingly gifted athletes who have neither judgment nor self-control?

Gordon Cohn

Long Beach


I have read a couple misguided comments in this section regarding not wanting Urban Meyer as USC coach because he has made some mistakes. Are you kidding me? Here is a coach who has won three national championships, contends every year and is regarded as one of the top coaches in America. Sure he has made some mistakes, but who hasn’t? A fan last week said that only a “minority” of fans want Meyer. He is horribly mistaken. The large majority of USC alumni and football fans want Urban Meyer, baggage and all. If you want a choir boy to run your team, you already have one. How is that working for you?

Bruce Olson



Chip Kelly’s football genius has kept the Bruins from evolving into winners. In two seasons, Dorian Thompson-Robinson has had minimal success, yet Kelly fails adaptive measures. Demetric Felton contributes to the victory over Washington State, yet is kept on the bench for much of the loss to Arizona. Kelly’s failure to adapt to a changing football environment will only lead to failure.

Mario Valvo


Not Angelic

Really, Bill Shaikin? I’m supposed to get excited about the future of Angels baseball because one day Joe Maddon might open a Polish-Italian restaurant in the stadium parking lot? I am not sure what this dubious premonition portends for local baseball’s future, but it’s a likely bet Mr. Shaikin is angling for a transfer to the newspaper’s flashy Thursday food section!

Al Senia

Aliso Viejo


Bill Belichick says he does not use analytics, but his gut (experience). Result: He wins. The Angels use analytics like crazy. Result: They lose. Recommendation: The Angels need a new GM and manager, neither of whom uses analytics, but rather use their gut.

Bruce Miller

Playa del Rey


Billy Eppler seems to believe he’ll right the ship with a new manager, new pitching and new bench coach who surely will support his annual personnel ideas — something that the former manager and coaches may have suggested “we should think about this,” considering what he gave them to live with this season.

The solution to the Angels’ perennial problems is firing Eppler, who is clueless to a fault when evaluating pitchers.

Kip Dellinger

Santa Monica

Madbum’s rush

The best moment of the baseball season was witnessed in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon.

The Dodgers had sent in Clayton Kershaw to pitch in the fifth and the Giants countered with Madison Bumgarner to pinch-hit. These two have treated fans to varied classic confrontations and Bumgarner was likely in his last appearance at home as a Giant. Bumgarner received a standing ovation and Kershaw backed off the mound and let him have his moment. When he lined out to third base, Kershaw pointed to him and his manager, Bruce Bochy, with his gloved hand and took off his cap to them.

Thank you, Bumgarner and, especially, Kershaw for the great lesson.

Scott Hamre

Cherry Valley

Quick hitters

File under “Better late than never”: Dwight Howard fulfills fans’ 2012 hopes and leads the Lakers to a championship.

PJ Gendell

Beverly Hills


I find it less frustrating to watch our politicians than the Rams try to play four quarters of defense.

Dave Eng

Thousand Oaks


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