September 15, 2019
The NCAA has long clung to the belief that college athletes should get no compensation for their efforts on the gridiron, court, track or ice other than the scholarships they are awarded. Which means that, while college football coaches earn literally millions, and the colleges themselves reap hundreds of millions, the athletes on whose labor those riches are extracted can’t obtain any compensation for the use of their likenesses (including, but not limited to, promoting an autobiography or putting on a summer camp). I could go on and on about why this is patently unfair, but the California legislature has just made a far more articulate statement.
S.B. 206, which passed the California Assembly by a 73-0 vote and the State Senate by a 39-0 margin, would still prevent colleges from paying athletes, but it will allow college athletes to earn money for the use of their names, images and likenesses. The legislation is so common-sensical it would be amazing that anyone would oppose it.
The NCAA is not just anyone. It lobbied vociferously against the bill, and is now threatening to remove all colleges in the state from NCAA-sanctioned athletics.
Good luck with that. The top three schools with the most NCAA championships across all D-I sports (Stanford, UCLA and USC) are all located in California, as is #10 Cal-Berkeley.