It's not exactly universities being forced to pay players, but the NCAA just lost a major battle that threatens their control over the monetization of college sports.
- California governor Gavin Newsom signed a law today that permits players to accept endorsement money.
Why it matters: This breaks apart one of the core pillars of the NCAA’s business model — the ability to prohibit college athletes from collecting endorsement money, Axios Sports writer Kendall Baker emails.
The big picture: The NCAA has threatened to ban California schools from competing due to fears they'd have an unfair recruiting advantage.
- The new law was strongly supported by many pro athletes, who argue forcing top-tier players into the amateur system is a form of wage theft and involuntary servitude.
- NBA star Draymond Green tweeted today: Thank you to California Governor @GavinNewsom for his leadership signing the bill protecting college athletes and bringing more equality to the multi billion dollar industry."
What's next: Bills are already in their infancy in other states — including Washington state and Colorado — so this could be just the first of many dominoes to fall.
Go deeper: Sign up for Axios Sports for an in-depth look tomorrow morning.