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HomePolicyCalifornia Governor Defies NCAA, Signs Student Athletes Pay Bill

California Governor Defies NCAA, Signs Student Athletes Pay Bill


Governor Gavin Newsom has defied the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) calls and signed the bill that would allow college athletes to sign sponsorship deals and receive compensation.

NCAA had asked Newsom to reconsider his stand while calling Senate Bill 206, or The Fair Pay to Play Act, “harmful” and “unconstitutional.” The bill was introduced by State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).

Without paying heed to their warnings, Newsom on Monday signed the bill in the presence of LeBron James, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and Rich Paul among others during a special episode of UNINTERRUPTED’s The Shop.

Now, California college student-athletes will be able to receive payments directly from a private or commercial source for their name, image, and likeness. Colleges would be prohibited from revoking scholarships from athletes who are paid for such considerations.

“This is the beginning of a national movement – one that transcends geographic and partisan lines,” said Governor Newsom.

“Collegiate student athletes put everything on the line – their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives to compete. Colleges reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model – one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted.”

James termed the passing of the bill as a “game-changer” for student-athletes and would serve the purpose of ensuring equity in sport.

“Athletes at every level deserve to be empowered and to be fairly compensated for their work, especially in a system where so many are profiting off of their talents,” James added.

Last month, NCAA Board of Governors had written a letter to Gov. Newsom raising the concern that the bill would erase the line dividing college and professional athletics and throw to wind the fairness that is associated with the college sports.

The association further said that it is against paying the college athletes to play and not against allowing them to use their name, image, and likeness.

The bill would come into force on Jan. 1, 2023, prohibiting colleges from enforcing NCAA  rules that prevent student-athletes from earning compensation, as well as prohibits the association from banning California schools from intercollegiate sports if their athletes sign sponsorship deals.

“This is truly a historic moment for college athletes,” said state Senator Skinner.

“Gov. Newsom once again shows why he is a national trailblazer,” she added.

After California, New York Senator Proposes Student Athlete Compensation Bill


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