NCAA Athletes Could Be Paid Under The New ‘Fair Pay To Play’ California Law

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the game-changing bill.

Governor Gavin Newsom began a chain of events on Monday (September 30) that will potentially shake the NCAA to its core and alter the collegiate sports landscape forever. 

CBS Sports reported that California became the first state to allow athletes at its colleges and universities to earn money based on their name, image and likeness. 

Senate Bill 206 easily passed through the two state legislative houses over the summer and sat on Newsome’s desk awaiting his signature. 

On Monday, Newsome put pen to paper against strong urges from the NCAA, who argues that there would be national fallout. Athletes being paid for endorsements or any such related profit based off their image and likeness is in direct conflict with the NCAA’s rules of amateurism. 

Of course the irony is that the revenue generating sports (basketball and football) played by kids, make billions of dollars that prop up all the other NCAA sports and enrich all the adults around the collegiate sports industrial complex. 

The NCAA has threatened that if athletes from California schools start receiving compensation, they would be subject to a ban from NCAA championship competition. 

The so-called “Fair Pay to Play Act” won't take effect until Jan. 1, 2023.

In a letter to the California Senate, Newsome wrote the following:

"This bill simply and rightfully allows student athletes to benefit from the multi-billion dollar enterprise of which they are the backbone. The bill does not change the fundamental promise we make to student athletes -- that they can participate in athletics while also gaining a meaningful education and attaining a college degree that will boost their economic opportunities for a lifetime." 

Newsome put pen to paper on LeBron James’ HBO show, The Shop.

The NCAA issued a statement on Monday, attempting to muddy the discourse:

“As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA's rules-making process. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California.

"We will consider next steps in California while our members move forward with ongoing efforts to make adjustments to NCAA name, image and likeness rules that are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education. As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide.”

A couple of professional athletes with ties to the state of California applauded the move. 

San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman, who also played collegiately at Stanford, said:

“I hope it destroys the NCAA, in general, because I think it’s corrupt, and I think it’s a bunch of people taking advantage of kids and doing it under a mask of fair play.”

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said:

“That’s exciting. We spent so much time in college broke, with no money. Yet everybody else was living very well, universities making a ton of money off your likeness. It is the most bankrupt model. It’s backwards. Someone needs to force this dictatorship to change. Because that’s exactly what it is. It’s no different than any country that’s ran by dictators. The NCAA is a dictatorship.”

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.