Los Angeles Lakers Media Day

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has officially signed a bill into law which will allow college student-athletes in the state to make money from images, names or likenesses.

The news comes as debates continue to build around the issue of universities generating billions off of their athletes, the same athletes that often live off of stipends while their jersey’s sell for obscene amounts of money every year. The bill directly challenges the NCAA bylaws, meaning this could spark a change in the college and amateur sports industries altogether.

LeBron James, who is a huge proponent for athletes using their celebrity as power, was able to host the signing of the bill on his HBO show The Shop.

The law is set to go into effect on January 1, 2023 and does not apply to community college and bans athletes from accepting endorsement deals that conflict with their schools’ existing contracts. NCAA President Mark Emmert has been opposed to the bill, saying that it poses a huge threat to the business model of the NCCA.

“My personal view is folks, in general, think that every student-athlete is going to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Emmert told CBS Sports. “One or two will be making some significant amount of money. Nobody else will.”

Emmert also pointed out that all 50 states have different labor laws meaning that in order for something like this to pass nationally, each state would have to be worked with individually. In essence, insinuating that this model isn’t realistically applicable at scale.

Whether you agree or disagree with NCAA players generating revenue, you’ve got to agree that there’s something wrong with a system that bans its players from making money off of their own identity, while their university’s pockets get fatter off of their hard work. Something most definitely has to change.

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