This new California law could finally let college athletes score big time.
California's Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to sign a bill into law Monday that would let college athletes earn endorsement deals. But if the NCAA has anything to say about it, that won't last long, The New York Times reports.
The Fair Play Act will allow "athletes at California schools to hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness" and protect them from NCAA retribution, The Associated Press writes. The bill passed both houses of California's legislature unanimously, and earned the support of LeBron James before heading to Newsom's desk. "Every single student in the university can market their name, image and likeness ... The only group that can't are athletes," Newsom told the Times.
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Currently, college athletes are seen as amateurs who can't be paid for their performance or image. That's because student athletes "should not be employees of the university," the NCAA said in a letter to Newsom earlier this month. But the NCAA drew in $1.1 billion in revenue in 2017 using those players' abilities and likenesses, and schools profit off college athletics as well, calling into question why they can't personally profit all the same. The NCAA will likely challenge the law in court before it takes effect in 2023. It is also said it will block California schools who let students pursue endorsement deals from league play.
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