Sep 30, 2019

California enacts law allowing college athletes to accept endorsement money

The University of California Golden Bears would be affected by this law. Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Monday that allows the state's college athletes to accept endorsement deals based on their player brand starting in 2023.

Why it matters: The law, which the NCAA has fervently argued against, rocks the decades-long precedent set by the organization to prevent collegiate athletes from being paid. If the law survives any challenges in court, it will change the business of college sports as we know it.

  • The New York Times reports that student athletes in California could have to leave the NCAA or openly defy its rules, leading to fines.

What they're saying: The NCAA urged to the governor not to sign it weeks ago, arguing the "Fair Pay" bill was "unconstitutional."

  • The NCAA said in a statement Monday that it "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."
  • NBA player LeBron James tweeted: "I’'m so incredibly proud to share this moment with all of you. @gavinnewsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it! @uninterrupted hosted the formal signing for SB 206 allowing college athletes to responsibly get paid."
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted: "Thank you @GavinNewsom for his leadership on this issue and @Ed_OBannon for his long-fought advocacy. Again, California is leading the way. College athletes should own the rights to their name, image, and likeness."

Go deeper

NCAA coaches react to California law allowing student-athletes to be paid

Duke men's basektball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

While the NCAA stands firm against the new California law allowing college athletes to accept endorsement money, college coaches have mixed views about the legislation and what it means.

What they're saying: Some coaches, like Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, believe the law is simply a sign of changing times. Others are waiting to see how the new change will play out in California, where it's likely to face legal challenges ahead of its implementation in 2023, before making a judgment call.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

The NCAA makes rules, not laws

NCAA president Mark Emmert. Photo: Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

With California's Fair Pay to Play Act dominating headlines and lawmakers across the country considering similar bills, it's important to remember that the NCAA doesn't have any authority when it comes to actual legislation.

The big picture: While the NCAA has its own rules and regulations for its member institutions and athletes, it doesn't have any ability to actually enforce actual laws — the ones passed by the government. Of course, that doesn't mean that running afoul of its own rules — resulting, for example, in the suspension of a cash-cow football team — wouldn't be a death knell for an institution's athletic program.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019