NCAA Protests California Bill That Would Allow College Athletes to Profit From Endorsements

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A new bill was passed in the California State Assembly on Wednesday, that will make it allowable for college athletes in the state to earn money off their names, images and likenesses. But the bill is getting some major pushback from the NCAA.

Senate Bill 206, also referred to as the Fair Pay to Play Act, is now on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom, and people like LeBron James as well as Draymond Green have gotten behind it.

The NCAA is giving push back against a new bill in California that would allow college athletes to earn money off their names, images and likenesses. (Photo: Icon Sportswire/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Entertainment)

“Everyone is California,” tweeted James on Sept. 5. “Call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly get paid for what they do and the billions they create.”

On its website, the NCAA states that “Student-athletes may not receive any type of pay or compensation for play (either directly or indirectly) and cannot be involved in any commercial endorsements for a product, service or establishment.”

So for example, if a player’s jersey with his or her name on it hangs in a store, that person can’t make anything from it — while others are able to profit greatly.

According to Sports Illustrated, the NCAA made $1.1 billion in 2017.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, as well as 21 of the organization’s board of governors, clearly want to keep the current rules in place. Because they signed a letter that was sent to Newsom on Wednesday and said if the bill becomes law it will erase the line between pro and college athletes.

“If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions,” read the letter.

Sen. Nancy Skinner, who spearheaded the bill, has already responded to the NCAA’s letter and said it’s filled with nothing but desperate, empty threats.

“The NCAA has repeatedly lost anti-trust cases in courts throughout the nation,” Skinner said. “As a result, threats are their primary weapon.”

If the bill is signed by Newsom it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

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