Paying College Athletes
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is the first state to pass a law allowing college athletes to hire agents and get paid for use of their name, image or likeness. Some things to know about the new legislation:
WHAT DOES THE LAW DO?
It lets college athletes at public and private schools in California hire agents and get paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. It does not apply to community colleges.
DO SCHOOLS HAVE TO PAY ATHLETES?
No. Student athletes won't get salaries like professional athletes do. But it will let them earn money in other ways, such as signing endorsement deals with shoe companies or appearing in a commercial for a local business.
WHEN DOES IT TAKE EFFECT?
Jan. 1, 2023.
CAN STUDENT ATHLETES WITH ENDORSEMENT DEALS KEEP THEIR SCHOLARSHIPS?
Yes. The law bans schools from revoking scholarships from players who sign endorsement deals.
CAN ATHLETES SIGN ANY ENDORSEMENT DEAL THEY WANT?
No. Student athletes cannot sign endorsement deals that conflict with their school's existing contracts. For example: If a school has a contract with Nike, student athletes at that school could not sign endorsement deals with Under Armour or any other Nike competitor.
WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP FOR THE NCAA?
A 19-member working group is expected to make formal recommendations to the NCAA's Board of Governors on Oct. 28 and 29 in Atlanta. There appears to be an appetite to at least loosen some of the NCAA's long-standing rules on amateurism.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS?
Legal experts differ on how the NCAA may react. Former college baseball player turned NCAA investigator Tim Nevius, an attorney and college athlete reform advocate, says the only option is to overhaul the entire system. He argues the current rules prevent college athletes from exercising economic rights other American citizens have.
The case could head to court. Josephine Potuto, a law professor at the University of Nebraska and a former chair of the NCAA's committee on infractions, contends the NCAA could argue in court that the California law violates the federal Commerce Clause. The NCAA has already declared the legislation is unconstitutional. Other options include declaring schools that abide by the new law ineligible for postseason tournaments.
WHAT MODELS OR FRAMES OF REFERENCE COULD THE NCAA USE IN ITS PROPOSALS?
Perhaps they can find some framework in the basketball model, which now gives some players the option to meet with and be represented by professional agents certified by the NCAA without losing eligibility — a major concession by the NCAA following an embarrassing recruiting scandal. Still, there are real concerns about how far administrators are willing to go.