California Assembly passes legislation to let college athletes sign endorsement deals

An exterior of the state capitol is shown

This comes on the heels of a threat by the NCAA saying California universities could be prohibited from championship games if lawmakers pass the bill allowing student-athletes to profit from their image and likeness.

"California can change the game", James, a frequent critic of the NCAA who went straight to the National Basketball Association from high school, said in his tweet. The bill, if it becomes law, would bar universities and colleges from taking away an athlete's scholarship or eligibility in order to punish them for profiting off of their name, image or likeness.

The Fair Pay to Play Act, or SB 206, introduced by state Sens.

Gov. Gavin Newsom now has 30 days to either kill the bill or sign it into law.

The senate must take a final vote on the bill by Friday. Nancy Skinner and Steven Bradford, and if Newsom signs SB 206 into law, it would go into effect on January 1, 2023.

The NCAA did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment at the time of publication. Current NCAA amateurism rules are put in place to distinguish college athletes from professional athletes. The NCAA, on the other hand, would face strong antitrust laws if the organization attempted to shut it down.

Should the bill be passed into law, all student-athletes in California would have similar endorsement opportunities provided to Olympic athletes. In spite of the fact that none of the bill's arrangements include schools paying competitors legitimately, it would restrict schools in California from denying grants or grant qualification from competitors who benefit off their own name, picture and resemblance.

NCAA President Mark Emmert has already lobbied the chairs of two Assembly Committees via letter in June to delay consideration of the legislation and allow the NCAA's current working group, led by Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman, to present potential changes to the NCAA's current legislation regarding the ability of student-athletes to market their name, image and likeness.

"Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships". "As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist".

University of California officials stated their fear of losing sponsorship funding if the bill were passed.

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