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California Assembly Passes Bill to Compensate College Athletes

California Assembly has passed a bill that would allow college athletes to sign sponsorship deals and receive other compensation.

On Monday, Senate Bill 206 or The Fair Pay to Play Act received 72-0 votes in the assembly making headway to the Governor Gavin Newsom office, The New York Times reported.

The bill introduced by State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) in February, would allow college athletes to receive payments directly from a private or commercial source for their name, image, and likeness. It would also prohibit colleges from revoking scholarships from athletes who are paid for such considerations.

In July, the bill received an 11-0 vote by the State Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Before the vote, bill co-sponsor Sydney Kamlager-Dove criticized NCAA president Mark Emmert for his letter that threatened to bar state colleges from participation in NCAA sponsored events if the bill is passed by the state assembly and sought delay in the vote.

“I just want to say, ‘NCAA, don’t threaten California. Don’t threaten us’,” Kamlager-Dove said. “Because we have formidable schools. We have formidable alumni. And we have formidable viewership. And we can leverage those things until 2023 when this bill takes effect. I’m sick of being leveraged by the NCAA on the backs of athletes who have the right to their own name and image.”

The bill prohibits colleges from enforcing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules that prevent student-athletes from earning compensation, as well as prohibits the NCAA from banning California schools from intercollegiate sports if their athletes sign sponsorship deals.

Last week, basketball player LeBron James and senator Bernie Sanders also pledged their support for the bill. Calling the legislation as a “game-changer,” James said that college athletes can responsibly get paid for what they do and the billions they create.

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