Roberts: Athlete Compensation Could Drive Schools Like Bradley Out of College Sports

Nov 6, 2019

Bradley University President Gary Roberts says a small number of colleges exploiting predominantly African-American star athletes may ruin sports for all of higher education.

California recently passed a law requiring colleges to compensate athletes for using their likenesses, images, and names. A similar bill was introduced in Illinois. 

Roberts warns that will create a slippery slope of universities creating “slush funds” to attract top talent.

“I think there could well come a day when schools like Bradley will decide that having intercollegiate athletics is not worth it, because the only way you can be successful is to go out and buy athletes, whether you’re Division III or Division I," he said. 

Bradley's men's basketball team was one of the top 16 teams last year. 

The NCAA is now taking moves to compensate athletes. Roberts says that will leave college athletics “fundamentally changed.” 

State Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) said he opposes the Illinois bill. He said college athlete compensation would be a "dagger to the mid-majors."