California governor signs bill allowing college athletes to be paid for use of image, name

California governor signs bill allowing college athletes to be paid for use of image, name
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California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom70 percent of Californians over 12 have received one shot of coronavirus vaccine California debates extending eviction moratorium to pay off all past-due rent from pandemic 'Aggressive individual' arrested after interaction with Newsom MORE (D) on Monday signed legislation into law that would allow college athletes in the state to profit from the use of their names, images and likenesses.

The law, which passed the state legislature unanimously earlier this month, has faced pushback from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which argues the law could negatively impact amateur athletics.


The Los Angeles Times reports Newsom, a former college baseball player at Santa Clara University, said earlier this month that he had “very strong opinions on this subject” before signing the bill.

The law, which is expected to face legal battles, will prohibit the NCAA from not allowing a student-athlete from participating in their respective sports if they have profited from the use of their name, image or likeness.

NCAA rules bar athletes from being able to profit from play, including the use of their names or images.

Newsom told The New York Times in an interview that he believes California’s law is the first step in changing the landscape of collegiate sports.

“Every single student in the university can market their name, image and likeness; they can go and get a YouTube channel, and they can monetize that,” Newsom said. “The only group that can’t are athletes. Why is that?”

He added that the law is “a big move to expose the farce and to challenge a system that is outsized in its capacity to push back.”

Newsom formally signed the bill on LeBron James's HBO show, which James hailed as a momentous occasion.

In a letter to Newsom after the state legislature passed the bill, the NCAA warned that college athletes in California may be deemed ineligible for NCAA sanctioned events.

The NCAA also said the law would give California colleges an unfair recruiting advantage.

“Right now, nearly half a million student-athletes in all 50 states compete under the same rules,” the letter read, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This bill would remove that essential element of fairness and equal treatment that forms the bedrock of college sports.”