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.

The Ringer's Rodger Sherman breaks down this maddening situation even further:

  • "Sometimes this can get confusing, because the NCAA has previously tried to punish schools that break laws (like when it issued sanctions against Penn State for its officials' failure to report the crimes of Jerry Sandusky) and because courts and federal agencies have previously decided to enforce NCAA [rules] (like the FBI's attempt to crack down on corruption in college basketball)."
  • "When a state government passes a law asserting jurisdiction over how college athletics works, though, the NCAA can do little else besides whine and hide."

In other words: "It's illegal for an athlete to receive a huge payment from a booster in the same way it's illegal for you to collect $1,000 in Monopoly money when passing go."

Go deeper: NCAA asks California governor not to sign student athlete "Fair Pay" bill

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."