NCAA president Mark Emmert suggested that if a California bill allowing in-state college athletes to be compensated passes, schools could potentially be barred from competing in NCAA championships, a letter sent to the chair of two State Assembly committees last week said.
A bill asserting that athletes at California schools could earn compensation for use of their own name, image or likeness, beginning in 2023, easily passed in the state Senate last month, 31–4.
A hearing and vote by the Assembly's Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee focused on the bill will be conducted on Tuesday. The bill could next be reviewed by the Higher Education Committee and would need to be approved by July 11 in order to remain alive this year.
Emmert has asked that committees postpone their evaluation of the bill as the NCAA examines rules regarding athletes making money for their names, images and likenesses.
“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” Emmert said in his letter. “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. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist."
Twenty-three NCAA Division-I schools stand to be impacted by the bill potentially passing, including four Pac-12 programs.