Calling the forced amateurism of student-athletes “a bankrupt model,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-in-the-nation bill Monday that clears the way for college players to be paid.
The legislation allows student-athletes to sign endorsement deals and prohibit the governing body of college sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the schools from banning those compensated athletes.
NCAA rules strictly prohibit athletes from profiting in any way from their sports, and the law would still bar schools from directly paying athletes.
The new regulation is scheduled to start in 2023.
“Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model,” Newsom tweeted after signing the bill while appearing on LeBron James’ HBO show, “The Shop: Uninterrupted.”
The Golden State is home to dozens of schools that play top-flight Division I sports, including Pacific-12 Conference institutions, USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal.
The NCAA acknowledged in a statement Monday that its current regulations on amateurism will need to change, but said California’s new law won’t help.
“As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rules-making process,” the governing body said.
“Unfortunately this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses and not just in California.”