California bill would allow compensation for college athletes

February 6, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A California state senator has introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to receive sponsorships without repercussions from their institutions.

UCLA football
Photo: Eric Chan, Flickr

Dubbed the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” athletes from California’s 24 public colleges and universities who participate in Division I sports would be allowed to make money “as a result of the student’s name, image or likeness.” Sen. Nancy Skinner, who introduced the bill, said it’s a reasonable step forward in helping athletes who haven’t received a fair deal.

“For too long, college athletes have been exploited by a deeply unfair system,” Skinner said on Twitter. “Universities and the NCAA have made billions of dollars from TV deals and corporate sponsorships of their teams.

“Athletic talent has value, and college athletes deserve to share in that value. The Fair Pay to Play Act, also known as Senate Bill 206, allows athletes to finally be compensated for their hard work.

“Under SB 206, collegiate athletes at California’s 24 public and private colleges and universities that participate in Division 1 sports will be eligible to be paid directly from a private or commercial source for their name, image, and likeness for the first time.”

The proposal adds protection for student-athletes, making it unlawful for institutions to take away these rights or revoke an athlete’s college scholarship for receiving sponsorships.

The bill references a 2012 study by the National College Players Association and Drexel University Sports Management Program. The study found that 82 percent of full-scholarship athletes who live on campus and 90 percent of full-scholarship athletes who live off of campus live at or below the federal poverty level.

The NCAA has not commented on the proposal.

Read the full text of SB 206.

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