Pro athletes hope new California law forces 'corrupt' NCAA to change

NBA star Draymond Green and NFL star Richard Sherman both praised the passage of California’s “Fair Pay to Play Act,” while taking shots at the NCAA, which has barred compensation for college athletes.

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California's bill, which allows college athletes in the state to be paid for their names, images and likenesses, was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday. Green addressed the topic during the Golden State Warriors’ media day, likening college sports’ governing body to a “dictatorship.”

“Someone needs to force this dictatorship to change because that’s exactly what it is,” Green told reporters, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s no different than any country that’s run by dictators. The NCAA is a dictatorship.”

Green said the rule could affect the NCAA’s ability to suspend players for getting compensation, and questions what organization President Mark Emmert will do.

Emmert, who typically doesn't say much, will have to speak up now, Green said. "I’d love to see what his response is going to be to this, outside of ‘Oh, well, you’re going to be ineligible.’”

Few players are worried about that now, he added.

Sherman, who has been a staunch advocate of payment for college athletes, said at a San Francisco 49ers practice that he hopes the bill “destroys the NCAA."

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“I think it’s corrupt, and it’s a bunch of people taking advantage of kids, and doing it under a mask of ‘fair play,’” Sherman said. “Even the things they’re suspending these kids for are ridiculous. You’re suspending kids for YouTube channels and they’re saying, ‘Oh, it’s because other kids can’t do it.’”

California's action, he added, will "cripple the NCAA in a way where they start to bend, make it more fair and more of a symbiotic relationship between players and the NCAA, or it's going to destroy them in general and start a whole new way of college athletics in general.”

The law is set to take effect in 2023.

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