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NCAA Calls California Athletes Bill ‘Harmful’, ‘Unconstitutional’

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is lobbying hard to prevent California Governor Gavin Newsom from signing a historic bill that would allow college athletes to receive compensation.

On Wednesday, the members of NCAA Board of Governors sent a letter to Gov. Newsom to reconsider his stand while calling the bill “harmful” and “unconstitutional”.

Introduced by State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Senate Bill 206, or The Fair Pay to Play Act, seeks to allow college athletes to receive payments directly from a private or commercial source for their name, image, and likeness. The California Assembly passed the bill on Monday.

The main apprehension of the members mentioned in the letter was 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.

“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,” the letter reads.

If the bill is signed, the members anticipate a negative impact on 24,000 California student-athletes across three divisions.

Earlier, NCAA president Mark Emmert in a letter to California legislators claimed that provisions within the proposed legislation violate its bylaws and would bar the commonwealth’s colleges from participation in NCAA sponsored events.

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

“NCAA member schools already are working on changing rules for all student-athletes to appropriately use their name, image and likeness in accordance with our values — but not pay them to play,” the letter adds.

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.

Why Aren’t College Athletes Paid?