Skinner’s game-changing ‘Fair Pay for Fair Play’ bill heads to governor’s desk

East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner’s game-changing legislation that could potential move the NCAA toward paying its student athletes was approved by the state Legislature Wednesday. Senate Bill 206 heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for consideration.

“California is loud and clear: Our student athletes will no longer be denied the right to their name, image, and likeness,” Skinner said following passage in the state Senate. The vote was 39-0. Earlier this week, the Assembly approved the bill by a 73-0 vote.

NCAA officials have voiced concerns over Skinner’s bill. Earlier this summer, they threatened to exclude California universities from participating in NCAA championships, if the legislation becomes law.

The bill, if signed by Newsom, allows student athletes to receive compensation for their name, image, or likeness. Under NCAA rules, student athletes under scholarship are prohibited from receiving any compensation, not even a part-time job to earn money on the side

For decades, critics have equated the prohibition to slavery since some universities can derive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from high-profile sports, such as football and basketball, while paying its athletes nothing in return.

The new rules would not go into effect until 2023, at the earliest. However, the NCAA could have the option of suing the state to block implementation of the law.

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