Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206 Monday, making California the first state to allow college student athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images and likenesses.
The signing of SB 206 will prohibit California institutions from removing a student athlete from a team or terminating the student’s scholarship if the athlete profits off their recognition in the sport.
This creates a problem for California schools because other states without the law enacted will no longer be allowed to compete against institutions who are paying their student athletes, according to the NCAA. The NCAA defines paid college athletes as professionals, ruling them ineligible to play against amateur status athletes.
In hopes of unifying all schools in the nation within the new law, the NCAA directed a letter to Newsom stating: “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.”
This statement goes against the narrative California is hoping to create by trying to exploit a loophole to still give players recognition for the name, image and likeness, but not monetize it.
“They know they have to change,” CSULB President Jane Close Conoley said. “To me, it’s who blinks first.”
Athletes will also be allowed to hire agents, but the endorsements gained could interfere with previous commitments to the school.
“I don’t want them to give up the chance to compete at a high level,” Conoley said.
Newsom signed the bill on HBO’s show, “The Shop,” hosted by Lebron James, who has been an active supporter of SB 206.
The bill will take effect on Jan 1. 2023 and only applies to four-year institutions.
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