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Calif. Governor Signs Bill on Athletes' Rights

October 1, 2019
 
 

College athletes in California will be able to profit from the use of their names, images and likenesses through partnerships with companies starting in 2023.

Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday signed into law Senate Bill 206, which bars the National Collegiate Athletic Association from disqualifying teams from competition if players are compensated for the use of their personal brand, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The NCAA strongly opposes the legislation, and its Board of Governors wrote in a letter to Newsom earlier this month that the Fair Play for Pay Act would give the 58 NCAA member institutions in California recruiting advantages. In the letter, NCAA officials suggested the bill could lead the institutions to be removed from competition within the association.

Supporters of the bill say it would fairly compensate college athletes for the funds they bring into universities with their celebrity and talent. The bill would not allow universities to directly pay athletes, but it would permit students to participate in corporate deals and coaching opportunities, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A New York state senator proposed similar legislation on Sept. 16 -- also requiring athletics departments to share 15 percent of annual ticket sales with student athletes -- and Newsom expects other states to follow suit in the coming months.

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