How a Calif. Senator became inspired to author the bill that could change the NCAA and share the wealth
June 26, 2019
Skinner says she has long been interested in ensuring that athletes get a fair shake, stemming from her days as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a life-long sports fan.
Banning a member college for allowing athletes compensation in compliance with state law is likely an act that would violate federal antitrust laws, as well as California's common law right to good faith and fair dealing.
California is close to passing a law that would return to athletes what the NCAA unjustly stole: the rights to their own names, images and likenesses. One’s name and face are what some people might call a birthright. But in the eyes of the NCAA, college athletes don’t have birthrights; they’re serfs. NCAA President Mark Emmert, the Lord High of the Carillon Towers, has suggested all of California’s postseason competition could be jeopardized if the state allows an athlete to make a profit from his or her own name, picture or signature.
"The plant that’s sitting there has been there for a long time, and it’s been the bane of many West Oakland folks because it is a significant contributor to air pollution here," said State Senator Nancy Skinner, adding that residents there face higher rates of asthma.
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, state Sen. Nancy Skinner and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia joined representatives from EVgo and Uber to welcome the city’s first public fast-charging vehicle hub at Richmond Civic Center on Saturday.
"We're moving full speed ahead. This is an equity issue," Skinner told Newsweek. "If the TV or movie industry were to feature and use college students and then refuse to compensate them, there would be a universal outcry. The NCAA should be no different."
Sen. Skinner said she takes Emmert's letter as a threat.
"It's definitely a threat to colleges," she said.
"And this is what I think is so ironic: They are colleges. The NCAA is an association of colleges, and yet they're threatening California colleges and saying that they would not allow them to participate in championships if my bill passes."
“The NCAA and colleges and universities pocket billions of dollars a year from TV and corporate sponsorships, while student-athletes are blocked from receiving income for their talent and hard work,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. “So, it’s not surprising that the NCAA would be worried about legislation that seeks to change the status quo.”