Proposed Bill Would Help Student-Athletes Earn Money in the Face of NCAA Rules

California Connection
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DAVIS — A proposed bill calls for student-athletes in California to have the ability to endorse a product or business, or even have a social media account they can make money from.

The bill is not about whether college athletes should be paid for playing their respective sports, but instead whether those athletes should be able to make money for being themselves if the opportunity arises.

“The student-athletes under such restrictions and my bill would just lift those restrictions,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

State Sen. Skinner is the author of Senate Bill 206.

“They could be a volleyball player, they could be a swimmer, they could be a wrestler, it allows them to be able to monetize their own name, image or likeness,” she told FOX40.

Lawmakers have taken up the issue because the National Collegiate Athletic Association strictly forbids any player making money using their own likeness.

“How do you tell somebody, you’re so popular on YouTube, you have millions of followers, but you’re not allowed to get paid for that?” said Sacramento-area attorney Mike Wise.

Wise believes the NCAA’s adamant stance that student-athletes are “amateurs” needs to be updated to fit current times. He also feels if this bill becomes law, the courts will be included at some point.

“I’m pretty confident the NCAA would then pursue some sort of a writ or prohibition to preclude enforcement of the law and it’s going to be a litigated issue in the courts. I have no doubt about it,” he said.

FOX40 took to the issue to students at the University of California, Davis.

“This would definitely help students be able to be secure in the school, focus more on their education and handle business on the field,” said Kameron Holzendorf.

Others say it’s not something they have a clear opinion on.

“I think I’d have to look and see why the rules are in place in order to make a judgment on it,” said Haley DeQuine.

An Assembly committee approved the bill Tuesday and next month it will head to a separate Assembly committee. If SB 206 does become law, it will not take effect until 2023.


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