Rams running back Todd Gurley wears anti-NCAA shirt, voices support for college athletes getting paid

When it comes to the burgeoning Fair Pay to Play laws and the NCAA fighting against the prospect of student-athletes earning money from name, image and likeness rights, Todd Gurley isn't quite wearing his feelings on his sleeve ... but he's pretty damn close to doing just that.

The Rams running back and former star at Georgia took the podium to meet with the media on Thursday while wearing a T-shirt that made it pretty clear which side of the issue he fell on. As he addressed the room, Gurley's shirt read, "Not Concerned About Athletes," the first letter of each word was bolded with the shirt utilizing the NCAA's signature font. 

It's fair to assume Gurley purposefully wanted to send a message with his attire. He also spoke briefly about the issue.

"I'll just let my shirt speak for itself," Gurley said, via the Associated Press. "Just being a college athlete and obviously going through suspension and all that stuff, you've got to see both sides of it," he added. "Obviously everyone has their own opinion, but I'm always for the athlete. So more ways for the athletes to make some decent money off their name, for sure, they deserve it."

The suspension he referenced came in 2014 when the then-Bulldogs standout was suspended for four games during his junior season after the NCAA found that he'd received around $3,000 for autographs and signed memorabilia. Receiving financial compensation for utilizing one's name, image or likeness currently violates the NCAA's amateurism rules.

The debate over whether college athletes should be paid is nothing new, but the discussion has picked up steam in recent months as legislation is pushing in favor of the students. In late September, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that will allow athletes to profit from the use of their name or likeness starting in 2023 -- the first state to do so. It was a monumental decision for the future of college sports, and numerous other states are following in California's footsteps.

"I have deep reverence, deep respect for the NCAA and college athletics," Newsom said after signing the bill, per the Los Angeles Times. "I just think the system has been perverted, and this is fundamentally about rebalancing things. It's about equity, it's about fairness, and it's about time."

The NCAA has strongly and repeatedly opposed the idea that student athletes should profit from their sports while still maintaining amateur status in school.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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