The entire landscape of college athletes being able to profit of their name, likeness and image is officially law in California after Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law after the entire legislature passed it with a unanimous 72-0 vote last month.
The NCAA was furious and even sent a threatening letter to Gov. Newsom saying they would potentially pull the organization out of the entire state of California, which would effectively make 51 colleges NCAA-less.
And now that Gov. Newsom passed the bill here’s what that means.
California and the NCAA are on a collision course now that Gov. Newsom signed a landmark bill called the Fair Pay to Play Act, which will allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
This largely applies to sponsorship deals or endorsements, memorabilia and possibly profiting off of college sports video games.
The NCAA threatened to pull out of California altogether in a flexing move to try and scare Gov. Newsom from signing the bill officially into law.
It didn’t work. Gov. Newsom signed the bill on Monday.
Newsom noted the move as “the beginning of a national movement — one that transcends geographic and partisan lines.”
He wrote in a statement, “Collegiate student athletes put everything on the line — their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives to compete. Colleges reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model — one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted.”
Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 30, 2019
The good news for the NCAA is that the bill will not go into full effect until January 1, 2023.
The NCAA put out a statement following the signing of the Fair Pay to Play Act noting, “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.”
The NCAA maintains that it actually does pay NCAA student-athletes in the way of scholarships and other opportunities.
The organization said they provide, “billions of dollars in scholarships and the opportunity for millions across 24 sports to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees.”
On the other hand, some schools give out such few scholarships that don’t quite equate to what the NCAA is suggesting.
Michael Sokolove, author of “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino,” noted in an interview promoting his book, “If you look at a program like Louisville, which is a program that I focused on, they generate about $45 million a year in revenue. They give out 13 scholarships. That adds up to about $400,000 a year. The rest of it gets spread out to the coach, who makes $8 million a year, to the assistant coaches, who make as much as a half-million dollars a year. All throughout the athletic department, people are making six-figure salaries. It does not go to the players, what I call the unpaid workforce.”
New York is another state following in California’s footsteps too, but they might be even more aggressive like, for instance, requiring schools to pay every single NCAA athlete.
So what does this mean for California and the NCAA?
It means one of two things will happen: either the NCAA is going to have to adapt quickly or the organization will become an unwanted dinosaur inside of ten years. It’s really that simple.
That’s why the NCAA was so threatened by this bill. They knew it was the beginning of the end.