Report: NCAA president says California teams may be barred from tournaments over Senate likeness bill
In California, the debate over whether college athletes should be able to make money off their likeness is moving along a lot faster than the NCAA would like.
Yes, the NCAA just formed a committee to explore allowing athletes to profit from their names and likenesses, but that has yet to produce any results. Meanwhile, California’s state Senate has already overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow athletes to do just that starting in 2023.
Per USA TODAY’s Steve Berkowitz, NCAA president Mark Emmert has written a letter to California lawmakers saying California schools may be banned from NCAA championships if the law passes:
In a letter to the chairs of two State Assembly committees last week, NCAA President Mark Emmert implied that if the bill becomes law as it is written, California schools could face the prospect of being prohibited from participating in NCAA championships. That includes 23 NCAA Division I schools, four of which are in the Pac-12 Conference.
Obviously, that wouldn’t have much of an effect on the College Football Playoff at this point, but USC has been a power traditionally. Also, in sports like baseball, softball, track and field and many others, California teams at all levels are dominant.
Again, the bill wouldn’t allow this process to start until 2023, so what Emmert’s concern is here isn’t quite clear. If the committee that was formed recently can’t come up with a recommendation well before 2023, what’s the point?
It should also be noted that Berkowitz’s report says there’s a similar bill heading to the United States Congress, proposed by a Republican congressman from North Carolina, that would have a similar effect on a national scale. Read Berkowitz’s full report here.