Former Florida QB and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was not happy about a California bill allowing student-athlete endorsements, and expressed his frustration on ESPN’s First Take Friday morning.
When asked for his thoughts on the bill by co-host Stephen Smith, Tebow responded by reminiscing on his days at Florida in regards to his popularity.
“I feel like I have a little credibility and knowledge about this,” Tebow said. “When I was at the University of Florida, I think my jersey was one of the top-selling jerseys around the world. It was Kobe [Bryant], LeBron [James], and I was right behind them, and I didn’t make a dollar from it.”
“But nor did I want to,” he went on. “Because I knew going into college what it was all about. I knew going to Florida, my dream school, and supporting my team [is] what it’s all about.”
Tebow went on to say that the California bill would steer college sports away from university pride and instead make it about individual players.
“I know we live in a selfish culture,” Tebow continued, “but we’re just piling on to that, where [we] change what’s special about college football and turn it into the NFL, where it’s who[ever] has the most money, that’s where you go.”
The argument over whether student-athletes should be eligible for endorsements has lasted for decades. Now that the California legislature has passed and sent a bill allowing college endorsements to the governor’s desk, it is likely that we will see student-athletes in California receive endorsements from large companies around the U.S., likening them to professional players. There is no guarantee, however, that the NCAA will not regulate college endorsements for California teams that participate in their several divisions.