The Fair Pay to Play Act Has Been Signed. Now the NCAA Must Address a Question to Which It’s Never Had a Good Answer.

California’s new bill presents a unique legal threat to an organization that’s long clung to an outdated model of amateurism. It also exposes the flaws in each argument made by those desperate to prevent this from starting a movement.By Rodger Sherman  Oct 1, 2019, 8:38am EDT

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that could hasten the end of the college sports amateurism model. SB 206, more commonly known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, was unanimously passed by the state’s assembly (73-0, with six no votes recorded) and senate (39-0, with one no vote recorded) in mid-September. Newsom announced Monday that he signed it into law on The Shop, LeBron James’s television show, a precedent I would like to be upheld in all future signings of state legislation:

The bill’s premise is straightforward. Beginning in January 2023, it is set to give student-athletes at colleges and universities in California the right to negotiate deals with third parties over the commercial use of their names, images, and likenesses (NIL). The NCAA has previously faced lawsuits over the usage of names, images, and likenesses, most notably in the O’Bannon v. NCAA case that prompted the organization to stop licensing EA Sports’ college-sports video game series. Yet this bill comes at the NCAA from the state level, using a legislative tactic the association hasn’t yet encountered.

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