California Defies NCAA, Passes Law That Will Allow Athletes to be Paid

By , RADIO.COM Sports

The state of California passed groundbreaking legislation on Monday when Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he had signed a bill that will allow college athletes to be paid for endorsements.

California is the first state to pass such legislation, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The new law allows college athletes to profit off their images, names or likeness, and bans schools from kicking athletes off the team if they do get paid. It does not apply to community college and athletes are not allowed to accept endorsement deal that may conflict with the school’s existing contracts.

The NCAA had asked Newsom to veto the bill, arguing that it “erases the critical distinction between college and professional athletes,” and it also gives California an unfair recruiting advantage.

The latter could prompt the NCAA to bar California schools from NCAA competition.

NCAA membership is voluntary, though, and California schools could create its own league with others welcome to follow.

The new law could also pave the way for other states to pass similar legislation, and change the entire landscape of amateur and collegiate sports.

The NCAA has long prohibited athletes from receiving payment, which has resulted in scandals and athletes being paid under the table.

There are certain circumstance in which it does allow athletes to be paid. For instance, tennis players can accept up to $10,000 in prize money per year, and Olympic athletes can accept winnings from their competitions.

There are also cost-of-living stipends between $2,000 and $4,000 that “Power 5” conferences can pay its athletes per year.

Many professional athletes, such as LeBron James, have been vocal supporters of the California law, while others, such as Tim Tebow, have spoken out against it.

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