clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

California officially signs law that allows players to profit off image and likeness

California has officially started a war with the NCAA.

Track & Field: NCAA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official: California governor Gavin Newsom just signed the “Fair Pay to Play Act” into law, which will allow student-athletes in California to profit off their names, images, and likenesses.

The Act will go into effect in 2023, at which point players will be able to hire agents, sign endorsement deals, and accept paid youth coaching positions. The law also bans schools from kicking athletes off the team if they get paid.

This bill will start an all-out war between California and the NCAA. And other states may follow suit, which will throw college sports into turmoil and hysteria.

Last week, NCAA president Mark Emmert told a group of Division-I athletic directors that a bill like this is an “existential threat” to college sports. And earlier this month, the NCAA informed Governor Newsom that if the new law was adopted, the NCAA could declare all student-athletes at the 58 NCAA schools in the state ineligible.

The NCAA has released a statement in response to the newly signed bill.

The law will take effect on January 1, 2023. Similar bills are being considered in South Carolina, New York, and Illinois.

This is a way for colleges to entice student athletes to spend more time in school, rather than jumping to the professional ranks.

It’s also singularly important to the fact that the one-and-done rule will likely be abolished in time for the 2022 NBA Draft. This bill, and bills like it, will give more incentive to highly ranked prospects to attend college instead of going pro.

The problem: since California is the only state that has signed these rights into law, that poses a significant recruiting disadvantage for the rest of the country.

As mentioned above, other state will likely follow suit, but without a uniform rule from the NCAA, colleges across the country will have to either abandon the NCAA, hope for a change, or play at a disadvantage.

Emmert is right. This is an “existential threat” to college sports. But only because the NCAA is making it one.