Football

Cal Football: Pac-12 Comes Out Against New California Law

State's Fair Pay to Play Act getting a lot attention

Not only will the state of California be at odds with the NCAA regarding the passage of the Fair Pay to Play Act, but the Pac-12 Conference has also come out against the bill that was signed into law and would give college athletes the right to earn money for some endorsements.

The Pac-12 issued a release to that effect Monday morning.

"The Pac-12 is disappointed in the passage of SB 206 and believes it will have very significant negative consequences for our student-athletes and broader universities in California. This legislation will lead to the professionalization of college sports and many unintended consequences related to this professionalism, imposes a state law that conflicts with national rules, will blur the lines for how California universities recruit student-athletes and compete nationally, and will likely reduce resources and opportunities for student-athletes in Olympic sports and have a negative disparate impact on female student-athletes.

"Our universities have led important student-athlete reform over the past years, but firmly believe all reforms must treat our student-athletes as students pursuing an education, and not as professional athletes. We will work with our universities to determine next steps and ensure continuing support for our student-athletes."

The law says colleges in California cannot punish their athletes if they earn money for certain kinds of endorsements. That runs against one of the basic aspects of the NCAA model.

The California law is scheduled to go into effect in January 2023. It does not force colleges to pay athletes directly, but it makes it illegal for schools to prevent an athlete from earning money by selling the rights to his or her name, image or likeness to outside bidders.

It conceivably could make colleges in California ineligible for certain NCAA competitions, such as bowl games.

The NCAA issued a statement:

"We will consider next steps in California while our members move forward with ongoing efforts to make adjustments to NCAA name, image and likeness rules that are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education," the NCAA said in a statement. "As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide."

5 Responses

  • Jake Curtis

    Oct 2, 2019

    I wish Cal AD Jim Knowlton had declared whether he is for or against the law. He did neither.

  • PasadenaDave

    Oct 1, 2019

    That's bull. If it's about education first, you wouldn't have sold media rights to the highest bidder, including the right to control game dates and times that run counter to the welfare of these athletes and also to prioritize class attendance and study time. Champagne Larry is so full of himself. I love how they use Olympic and women's sports to instill fear in people. Let this legislation go into effect and let's course correct and amend it based on unintended consequences.

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