CALIFORNIA—Deriding the NCAA, on Monday, September 30, California Governor Newsom signed legislation that will go into effect in 2023 for the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB 206) by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) on a special episode of UNINTERRUPTED’s The Shop, which gives college student athletes in California the ability to benefit financially from their name, image and likeness.

“It’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest, finally of the athletes on par with the interest of the institutions,” said Governor Newson in a tweet video “now we’re rebalancing that power arrangement.”

“Colleges and universities reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model — one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve,” said Governor Newsom.

Student athletes are prohibited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from earning compensation from their association with college sports while their college or university can make millions from their athletic performance. That participation often comes at great risk to students’ health, academic success, and professional prospects. Nationwide, colleges and universities make $14 billion each year from student athletics and the NCAA takes in $1 billion annually.

“This is the beginning of a national movement – one that transcends geographic and partisan lines,” said Governor Newsom. “Collegiate student athletes put everything on the line – their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives to compete. Colleges reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model – one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted.”

“This is a game changer for student athletes and for equity in sports,” said LeBron James. “Athletes at every level deserve to be empowered and to be fairly compensated for their work, especially in a system where so many are profiting off of their talents. Part of the reason I went to the NBA was to get my mom out of the situation she was in. I couldn’t have done that in college with the current rules in place. This bill will help students athletes who are in a similar situation.”

The NCAA released the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s passing of SB206:

“As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rules-making process. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California.

We will consider next steps in California while our members move forward with ongoing efforts to make adjustments to NCAA name, image and likeness rules that are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education.

As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide.”

Written By Anita Brown and Casey Jacobs