California Becomes the First State to Allow College Athletes to Earn Money From Their Image

The new law marks a huge shift from current NCAA rules on student endorsements.

In a first for the U.S., California just passed a law that allows college athletes to profit from their name, likeness and image. By signing the Fair Pay to Play Act, Governor Gavin Newsom rebuked the NCAA’s policy of preventing its athletes to collect money from endorsements.

According to ESPN, “Advocates of the law say Newsom’s approval marks a significant step in a decades-long battle to create new compensation options for NCAA student-athletes. The law, which is scheduled to go into effect in January 2023, does not require schools to pay athletes directly as employees. Instead, it makes it illegal for schools to prevent an athlete from earning money by selling the rights to his or her name, image or likeness to outside bidders.

“The law also allows college athletes to hire a licensed agent to represent them. The bill was amended several times, including a recent provision that prevents athletes from signing endorsement deals that conflict with their team’s sponsors. For example, a basketball player could not wear Nike products during team events if he or she plays for a school that is sponsored by Under Armour.”

Could this be the beginning of future action by other states across the nation? Read about the NCAA’s response to the new California law and how they plan to adjust to the change here.

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