California governor signs bill allowing NCAA athletes to get paid
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Monday a plan allowing NCAA athletes in the state to make money from endorsement deals. The governor did so during an episode of LeBron James' HBO show, "The Shop."
The California state senate passed the Fair Pay to Play Act earlier in September, with the law slated to go into effect in January 2023. The NCAA has called the legislation "unconstitutional."
On Monday, the sporting body said that while its system needs changes, they should happen on a national level rather than state-by-state.
"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," an NCAA statement said.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said last week that any bill that grants athletes the ability to profit off of their name, image, and likeness would be an "existential threat" to college sports.
Newsom said collegiate athletes deserve to be treated the same as other students when it comes to money-making opportunities.
"Every single student in university can market their name, image, and likeness; they can go and get a YouTube channel, and they can monetize that," the Democratic governor told the New York Times' Alan Blinder. "The only group that can't are athletes. Why is that?"
California houses multiple powerhouse Division I athletic programs, including USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal.