The California State Assembly has approved SB 206, this bill will allow college student athletes to profit off of their likeness, which means they will be able to sign autographs for money, sell their game worn apparel, and personal equipment for money. One interesting thing this appears to do is open up the doors for a potential return of the NCAA College Football Games series, which was struck down due to NCAA players likeness being used in the game, and them not being able to be compensated for it.
According to the Los Angeles Times, lawmakers unanimously passed the bill, and has a chance to be passed into law if Governor Newsome decides to sign it. The bill is known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, this bill was heavily opposed by the NCAA, which is the governing body of collegiate sports. The NCAA Board of Governors argued that allowing athletes to make money off their likeness would give California college and universities an advantage over other schools, because other states have not passed such a law.
The simple fix to that issue would seem to be the NCAA allowing everyone to make money off their likeness, like you can in literally every other profession on Earth. There’s no engineering student who can’t sign an autograph while enrolled at their university just because they are competing in some competition.
“It would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions,” the NCAA wrote in a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom. “These outcomes are untenable and would negatively impact more than 24,000 California student-athletes across three divisions”
That basically translates to, if players can make money off of their likeness before they’re pro, it may lessen the impact NCAA has, thereby effecting our bottom line.
The NCAA rules on likeness are currently as stands. They cannot in any way make money off of their athletic prowess. NCAA Athletes are not allowed to make any money from coaching, teaching clinics, they’re not allowed to receive help with rent, or bills they may have. They can’t even sign an autograph for a measly dollar.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley believes the bill needs to be passed. “When a line in the sand is enforced obsessively, excessively and to the point of absurdity, that’s usually a sign it doesn’t belong there.”