California Signs Fair Pay to Play Act Making The State the First Ever to Allow College Athletes to Get Paid
Student-athletes will now be allowed to receive financial compensation for images, names or likenesses. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement Monday that he signed the historic bill SB 206, Fair Pay to Play Act, into law. The state assembly passed SB 206 earlier this month in a 73-0 vote.
“Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar, that’s a bankrupt model,” tweeted Newsom.”I just signed the Fair Play to Pay Act with @KingJames making CA the first state to allow student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness.”
“We made history,” said State Sen. Nancy Skinner, who co-authored the bill. This bill makes California the first state in the nation to allow college athletes to get paid for their name, image, and likeness.”
California is home to 58 NCAA-member schools including programs like UCLA, USC and Stanford who compete in the Pac-12 Conference. The Pac-12 released a statement to the public following the signing of SB 206: “The Pac-12 is disappointed in the passage of SB 206 and believes it will have a very significant negative consequences for our student-athletes and broader universities in California.”
Los Angeles Laker LeBron James was mentioned in Newsom’s tweet and had a positive reaction to the bill being signed into law.
“I’m so incredibly proud to share this moment with all of you. Gavin Newsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it,” tweeted James. James never played basketball in college, as he went straight to the NBA from high school, but has been a vocal supporter of college student-athletes receiving financial compensation.
Newsom signed the bill into law on the sports show “Uninterrupted” hosted by James and his business partner Mav Carter.
“This is the number one reason why we’ve created this platform, to be able to have moments like this where we got the Governor of California signing a bill to allow athletes in college to get paid,” said James.
In 2013, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was suspended for half a game for selling his autograph. With SB 206 into law, that would not be the case for student-athletes any longer.
The newly signed bill also will not allow schools to remove athletes from their teams if they are getting paid.
“The bill would prohibit the revocation of a student’s scholarship as a result of earning compensation or obtaining legal representation as authorized under these provisions,” the bill states.
The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023 and will not apply to community colleges and requires student-athletes who are being paid to have professional representation.
Draymond Green who plays in the NBA currently with the Golden State Warriors took to twitter to show his support of the bill.
“Thank you to California Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership signing the bill protecting college athletes and bringing more equality to the multi billion dollar industry,” said Green. Unlike James, Green played basketball in college at Michigan State between 2008-2012 before being being drafted by the Warriors.
Former college starting quarterback for the Florida Gators, Tim Tebow, doesn’t agree with the idea of college athletes getting paid.
“Well then it just becomes the NFL with now who has the most money, who is going to pay them the most and I think you take a lot the authenticity and the realness of college football,” said Tebow on ESPN’s First Take. “If we do it the right way then college football is still going to be the best game in the U.S. because people are passionate about it and they love it, look at the ratings, people care about it and I think if you start paying people it changes the authenticity, the realness, the passion of college football,” he continued.
The NCAA immediately put out a statement to the public the same day the bill was signed into law.
“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,” read the statement. “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 with higher education.”
The NCAA wants to keep the status quo on student-athletes, but with SB 206 signed into law, states could be looking to follow California’s lead on this.
“Florida is next in the list of states following California’s lead, Rep. Chip Lamara is hoping to have a similar proposal drafted this week,” tweeted ESPN staff writer Dan Murphy. “South Carolina and New York have also announced proposals for similar laws since SB206 started getting some publicity.”
The debate on whether college athletes should get paid or not has been waging for years, but today California made history introducing a law to change the current system between student-athletes and the universities in which they play for.