Cal­i­for­nia to let col­lege ath­letes sign en­dorse­ment deals

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

SACRA­MENTO, Calif. (AP) — De­fy­ing the NCAA, Cal­i­for­nia opened the way Mon­day for col­lege ath­letes to hire agents and make money from en­dorse­ment deals with sneaker com­pa­nies, soft drink mak­ers, car deal­er­ships and other spon­sors, just like the pros.

The first-in-the-na­tion law, signed by Demo­cratic Gov. Gavin New­som and set to take ef­fect in 2023, could up­end am­a­teur sports in the U.S. and trig­ger a le­gal chal­lenge.

New­som and oth­ers cast it as an at­tempt to bring more fair­ness to big-money col­lege ath­let­ics and let play­ers share in the wealth they cre­ate for their schools. Crit­ics have long com­plained that uni­ver­si­ties are get­ting rich off the backs of ath­letes — of­ten, black ath­letes strug­gling to get by fi­nan­cially.

“Other col­lege stu­dents with a tal­ent, whether it be lit­er­a­ture, mu­sic, or tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion, can mon­e­tize their skill and hard work,” the gover­nor said. “Stu­dent ath­letes, how­ever, are pro­hib­ited from be­ing com­pen­sated while their re­spec­tive col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties make mil­lions, of­ten at great risk to ath­letes’ health, aca­demics and pro­fes­sional ca­reers.”

New­som pre­dicted other states will in­tro­duce sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion.

The NCAA — which had called on him to veto the bill, ar­gu­ing that it would de­stroy the dis­tinc­tion be­tween am­a­teurs and pros and give Cal­i­for­nia an un­fair re­cruit­ing ad­van­tage — said it is con­sid­er­ing its next steps. It did not elab­o­rate.

In a state­ment, the NCAA said it is work­ing to re­vise its rules on mak­ing money off a player’s name and like­ness. But it said any changes should be made at the na­tional level through the NCAA, not through a patch­work of state laws.

Cal­i­for­nia’s law ap­plies to stu­dents at both pub­lic and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions — but not com­mu­nity col­leges — in the na­tion’s most pop­u­lous state. While the mea­sure cov­ers all sports, the big money is in foot­ball and bas­ket­ball.

Stu­dent ath­letes won’t get salaries. But un­der the law, they can’t be stripped of their schol­ar­ships or kicked off the team if they sign en­dorse­ment deals.

There are some lim­i­ta­tions: Ath­letes can’t en­ter into deals that con­flict with their schools’ ex­ist­ing con­tracts. For ex­am­ple, if your univer­sity has a con­tract with Nike, you can’t sign with Un­der Ar­mour.

The law rep­re­sents an­other in­stance of Cal­i­for­nia jump­ing out in front of other states when it comes to so­cial and po­lit­i­cal change.


De­fy­ing the NCAA, Cal­i­for­nia’s gover­nor signed a first-in-the-na­tion law Mon­day that will let col­lege ath­letes hire agents and make money from en­dorse­ments.

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