California Passes Bill Allowing NCAA Athletes to More Easily Make Money Off Name

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

The California state Capitol is viewed through the smoke from the Camp Fire, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Smoke from the Camp Fire, which has been burning since last Thursday nearly 90 miles north of Sacramento, has blanketed much of Northern California. The has has destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The California State Assembly passed a bill, SB206, by a 72-0 margin (seven not voting) that would open the door for NCAA student-athletes to earn money from their names, images and likenesses more easily, according to USA Today's Steve Berkowitz.

Berkowitz added the bill will return to the California State Senate and will likely move on to the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom can sign or veto the bill, and it will become law if he fails to act within a 30-day window of receiving it.

Should the bill become law in California, it will officially go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

The law would only apply to student-athletes in California, but Berkowitz noted the state houses more than 20 Division I schools, including USC, UCLA, California and Stanford in the Pac-12.

This comes amid the growing push to allow NCAA student-athletes to capitalize financially off their likenesses, especially in large revenue-generating sports such as football and basketball. Were California to follow through with SB206, it would likely create a domino effect across college sports.

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NCAA President Mark Emmert wrote a letter to the California State Assembly in June asking the legislative body to allow more time for the NCAA to consider the impact, per ESPN's Tom VanHaaren:

"When contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships.

"We humbly ask that the California legislature provide NCAA member schools the time and opportunity to thoroughly assess issues surrounding student-athlete name, image, and likeness, including potential unintended consequences that might arise if SB 206 is passed as written."

Berkowitz noted the NCAA didn't provide a comment immediately after SB206's passage in the State Assembly.

In May, the organization formed a group of select administrators that would examine the ways in which student-athletes might be allowed to receive compensation for their likenesses, names and images.

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