California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation to allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their name, likeness and image. California Senate Bill 206, more commonly referred to as the Fair Pay to Play Act, now makes it illegal for California universities to revoke an athlete's scholarship or eligibility for taking money. Under the new law, schools will not pay athletes, but athletes can hire agents to seek out business deals for them. The bill will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2023. California schools and the NCAA have long opposed the bill, which makes it impossible for schools to follow the NCAA's amateurism rules. The NCAA sent a letter to Newsom earlier this month calling the state's legislation "unconstitutional." The NCAA issued the following statement this morning in response.
As a membership organization, 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. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California. 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 to higher education. As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide."
For prior coverage on the new law (prior to enactment), see here.