New California law sparks debate within the NCAA

Megan Childress, Sports Reporter

Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed and passed a bill in September that would allow for college athletes to profit from their name, image or likeness. This bill has received both hate and support from many. The bill will allow for college athletes of any sport to be sponsored by big-name brands, such as Nike and Under Armor, or small locally owned businesses. These athletes will also be allowed to hire agents. 

Nancy Skinner, a Democrat in the California Senate, co-wrote this bill that Governor Newsom passed. 

She believes that athletes should be able to profit off their talents like any other college student. She gives the example that if a music student lands a gig as a DJ in a club or an engineering student builds a robot and they are both free to make money off of both things, then why should athletes be restricted. 

However, paying athletes involves more than just signing a contract with Adidas or hiring an agent, for there are quite a few complications. 

Those complications include international students with certain visas that forbid them from employment beyond campus or student-athletes that gain sponsorships from Nike when their school is strictly sponsored by Under Armor.

Moreover, the payment of student-athletes, as many fear, turns them from collegiate athletes aiming to earn a degree to employees of the University. Many also believe that the effects of this law will lead to the eventual professionalism of college sports; thus, treating college athletes like they are professionals when in reality they are not.  

Mark Emmert, the president of the NCAA, expressed his disregard for this new bill, especially since it, as of now, will only take effect in California universities in 2023. 

Since the law is not set to take effect until 2023, the NCAA has until then to find a way to counter this and get everyone on the same page. 

The NCAA has already released a statement, in regard to the new California law, that says, 

 “As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rule-making process.”