California Governor Signs Bill Allowing College Athletes to Get Endorsement Deals

California Governor Signs Bill Allowing College Athletes to Get Endorsement Deals

By Daniel Padavona

photo credit: Daniel Padavona // Shutterstock

California has become the first state to allow college athletes to be paid while still in college. On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that allows players to receive endorsement deals, despite the NCAA calling the move unconstitutional. Other states have proposed the same bill hoping to pressure the NCAA. 

Newsom signed during his appearance on LeBron James’s HBO show, “The Shop”, as he stood beside LeBron, the WNBA’s Diana Taurasi, former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Shashi.

Senate Bill 206 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) prohibits the NCAA from barring a university from competition if its athletes are compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness beginning Jan. 1, 2023. The University of California system, California State University schools, Stanford and USC all opposed the bill, saying they feared it would increase costs to ensure compliance with the law and lead to fines or even expulsion from the NCAA.

Newsom said university presidents and athletic boosters contacted him and urged him to veto the bill but that he felt strongly the state needed to address the racial, gender and economic injustices ingrained in college athletics.

“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,” the NCAA said in the statement.

Supporters of the bill say it could help young athletes from poor backgrounds and create new opportnunityies for female athletes who have limited professional opportunities to profit from their abilities in college.

Corporations and college have been profiting off students for years, even after they leave college and join professional teams. 

Schools are still prohibited from paying students. 

Source: LA Times