California takes another step toward legalizing likeness rights for NCAA athletes
College athletes may soon be able to make money off of their name, image and likeness as a bill from California could setup a scenario where universities and the NCAA would be prevented from banning athletes who take money.
Schools like Southern Cal, UCLA and Stanford oppose the bill.
The California State Assembly on Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow college athletes to more easily make money off their own name, image and likeness, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, USA TODAY reported. The vote — initially posted as 66-0, but later shown as 72-0 with 7 not voting — all but assures that the measure will go to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
Because the bill was amended after it had passed the State Senate, it will have to return there for a concurrence vote that could come as early as Tuesday, according to the office of Sen. Nancy Skinner, the bill’s sponsor. However, the Senate approved its version of the bill by a 31-5 margin, and the bill’s basic intent remains unchanged.
If the legislation reaches Newsom’s desk, he will have 30 days to sign it or veto it. If he takes no action, the bill becomes law.
The NCAA has warned the bill could mean California universities would be ineligible for national championships.
“I just want to say, ‘NCAA, don’t threaten California. Don’t threaten us’,” sponsor Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D). “Because we have formidable schools. We have formidable alumni. And we have formidable viewership. And we can leverage those things until 2023, when this bill takes effect. I’m sick of being leveraged by the NCAA on the backs of athletes who have the right to their own name and image.”
NCAA rules presently allow athletes to make money from their name, image or likeness, but only under a series of specific conditions, including that no reference can be made to their involvement in college sports.