California accelerates NCAA athlete pay law to take effect Wednesday

September 1, 2021

Newsom on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 26, which moved up the implementation date of California's athlete pay law from Jan. 1, 2023, to Sept. 1. State legislators wanted SB 26 to take effect immediately so the state's colleges and universities wouldn't be confused by the NCAA's interim suspension of its rules against name, image and likeness compensation.

Without California's law taking effect, universities in the state could develop their own rules, according to Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), one of the authors.

Pressure from states, with California taking the lead and Florida, New York and New Jersey quickly piling on, led to the breakdown of that longstanding NCAA policy. The organization's unanimous vote last fall came after more than a decade of complaints and festering cynicism over the status of student athletes — who earn nothing while their colleges and coaches reap riches.

SB 26, authored by state Sens. Skinner and Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), received unanimous votes in both houses of the California Legislature in August. The measure would also apply the Fair Pay to Play Act to the state's community colleges, in addition to expanding athlete compensation to include earnings from their athletic reputation.

 

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