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On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that would allow athletes to profit from their likeness as well as sign endorsement deals. Currently, student-athletes are not allowed to earn compensation while playing college sports. The only exceptions are scholarship money from the institution, a modest housing allowance or on-campus housing and a per diem for travel days when on team-sanctioned road trips.
Newsom tweeted about his signing of the controversial bill, noting how the NCAA "reaps billions" from student-athletes.
The bill, which passed in September, would allow student-athletes “to earn compensation for the use of their own name, image, or likeness and also obtain professional representation such as a sports agent, in relation to their college athletics.” It will not go into effect until 2023.
The NCAA, the governing body of college athletics, voiced its displeasure several weeks ago at what was then a proposed law. Today, it responded with a statement, a direct response to Newsom's pen going to paper.
"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 rules-making process. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California.
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.
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."
Celebrities such as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James took to social media on Monday morning to rejoice over Newsom’s signature. James did not attend college but went straight to the NBA after competing in high school.
The bill is notable because it does not allow schools to directly pay athletes.