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Mike Leach Says California Should Focus on Keeping Streets Clean, Not NCAA Bill

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2019

Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

Washington State head football coach Mike Leach shared his thoughts Monday regarding California Senate Bill 206.

Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times passed along Leach's comments about the bill that would allow college athletes to make money from endorsements and sponsorships using their image:

"The state of California has trouble keeping their streets clean right now, so my thought is that they probably ought to focus on that. That's just one guy’s opinion and I'm sure that I'm probably wrong, but at the rate that California is handling their infrastructure and some of their other problems, you know, I think we'll see how they do with that before I really think would be that beneficial for the legislature of California to enter into college football. If you see benefits to them entering into college football I'd love to hear because they seem to be determined to do it."

Leach's comments come after Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reported California's state Senate unanimously voted to pass the bill Wednesday after the Assembly did the same on Sept. 9. Fenno explained Governor Gavin Newsom has 30 days to either sign or veto what is known as the Fair Pay to Play Act.

The NCAA wrote a letter to Newsom arguing against the bill and stated its belief that passing such a measure would "wipe out the distinction between college and professional athletics and eliminate the element of fairness that supports all of college sports."

The letter also warned that the 58 NCAA schools in California may no longer be allowed to compete for NCAA championships due to an "unfair recruiting advantage" the right to profit from one's likeness would apparently create.

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Steve Berkowitz of USA Today reported if the bill becomes law, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been one of the vocal proponents for the Fair Pay to Play Act:

Brenna Greene @BrennaGreene_

Mike Leach has some THOUGHTS on the state of California trying to pass legislation to pay college athletes (Things get spicy after Leach, quite literally, sips his tea) H/T @WSUCougarFB https://t.co/Jtt4rIKV1C

LeBron James @KingJames

Everyone is California- call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly get paid for what they do and the billions they create.

As for Leach, he clearly has a different opinion on the bill which is no doubt informed by his extensive NCAA experience. He was the head coach at Texas Tech from 2000 through 2009 and has been at Washington State in his current position since 2012.

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