California is making history in the sports world as Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law on September 30th, 2019. This makes it legal for student athletes to receive money from endorsements, something the NCAA has banned for years. The law is not set to take effect until 2023. Here is what the law will achieve:

  • It will be illegal for universities to punish or prohibit students from making money off of their image, name, or likeness.
  • College athletes may now hire a licensed agent for representation.
  • Players can sign endorsement deals as long as they do not conflict with the university sponsor (e.g. Student athletes at the University of Oregon could not sign endorsements with Adidas, as the school is sponsored by Nike).

The signing of the bill into law was done in the presence of LeBron James, who is a big advocate for the change. In a tweet, James expressed his view that this will “change the lives of countless athletes who deserve it!” It is likely that his voice will continue to be heard in the coming years as the world prepares for this law to go into effect.

The NCAA in a response seems willing to adapt and evolve as an organization, but still is not on board with the new law, fearing that the line between professional and amateur sports will become blurry. The NCAA reported $1.1 billion in revenue for the 2017 fiscal year.

Other organizations such as the PAC-12 are also concerned with the implications of this bill, and the groups and individuals that are both for and against the new law will become more vocal as it comes closer to fruition.

Featured photo credit: Hollywood Reporter

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