Monday, September 30, 2019

NCAA Defied

California becomes first state to allow college athletes to be paid

Bryan Anderson, 9-30-19, Sacramento Bee

Rejecting opposition from the NCAA, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a law allowing college athletes to be paid starting in 2023.

The proposal from state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will allow players to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. Senate Bill 206, dubbed the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” would also prohibit universities across the state from revoking scholarships from students who choose to pursue endorsement deals and other opportunities.

Last week, Newsom signaled his support for the bill during an interview with Daily Show host Trevor Noah.

“This notion of ‘student-athlete,’ give me a break,” Newsom said. “These guys are expected full-time to sacrifice themselves for athletics, but when they’re done, the next crew comes in and it’s just this cycle. At the end of the day, it perpetuates a cycle of inequality and a lack of equity. As it relates to the issue of sports, it’s time to rebalance things. ... I recognize the consequence of this decision because we could substantially change the NCAA as we know it.”

Newsom was filmed signing the bill on NBA superstar Lebron James’ HBO show, The Shop. Newsom posted a video clip from the show on Twitter early Monday.

“That’s governor’s signature right there,” James says in the clip, celebrating the bill’s signing.

The NCAA, which governs college sports, was unsuccessful in its efforts to stop the bill within the Legislature or get Newsom to veto it, setting the stage for a potential legal challenge.

Shortly after Skinner’s bill cleared the Assembly with unanimous support earlier this month, the group told Newsom in a letter that the law would give the state’s 58 NCAA schools an “unfair recruiting advantage.” As a result, the NCAA Board of Governors threatened to ban those schools from playing in NCAA competitions. The announcement came in addition to their prior threats to revoke California’s ability to host future championships...

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