• CA SB 208 was introduced on February 4 by Senators Nancy Skinner (D- Berkeley) and Steven Bradford (D- Gardena).
  • The measure must be out of the committees by July 11 in order to have the potential to pass this year.
  • The NCAA sent a letter to committee chairs stating their reasons for being against this proposal.

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA has made it clear to California colleges and universities that they are not welcoming of a bill introduced in March.

The Fair Pay to Play Act, known in the California Legislature as SB 206, would permit student-athletes to earn income associated with their name, image, or likeness.

Though the measure details that it would not begin until 2023, the NCAA has put together a working committee to discuss the matter.

Their conclusion? If the proposal becomes law, the opportunities for those schools to participate in NCAA tournaments would be prohibited. This includes both conference and national tournaments.

As is stands, roughly two dozen schools would be in the middle of the prohibition, including four (USC, UCLA, Berkeley, and Stanford) which are in the Pac 12 Conference – a “power 5” conference.

This announcement came after the Senate approved the measure by a vote of 31-4 on May 22; however, the bill is still progressing, currently in the Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee.

A voice from the heavily outnumbered four opposers of the measure was Senator Jeff Stone (R- Temecula).

“It seems like it’s a bill that would be more appropriate to entertain at the federal level,” said Stone.

Stone believes that this measure will hinder high school athletes from applying to California universities who must debate between the ability to receive compensation or ability to play in postseason tournaments.

“It likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist,” said NCAA president, Mark Emmert, in a letter addressing California legislators.

Still, the legislators believe that a measure as such will impact the other 49 states to introduce similar proposals, having them jump on board and putting the challenge on the NCAA.

“Nonetheless, 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,” said Emmert.

In order for this to potentially come into fruition, the committee would have to approve SB 206 by July 11.

News tags: | | | | | | | | | | |