California kicks off endorsements for college athletes

California
Drake London of the USC Trojans runs past Jay Shaw and Quentin Lake of the UCLA Bruins for a touchdown during the first half of a game at the Rose Bowl on Dec. 12, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Drake London of the USC Trojans runs past Jay Shaw and Quentin Lake of the UCLA Bruins for a touchdown during the first half of a game at the Rose Bowl on Dec. 12, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

California is accelerating the implementation of its law regarding college athletes making money off endorsements using their name, image and likeness.

The state’s law was set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, but with the decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to allow those benefits beginning this past summer, California pushed up its effective date to Wednesday.

California was the first state to pass such a law when the Fair Pay to Play Act was signed into law in 2019, and other states followed suit, though their laws often took effect before the 2023 implementation date in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he had signed the changes into law on Tuesday after the bill by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature.

“California led the charge against the unjust power imbalance in college sports, launching a national movement and spurring long-overdue changes in this multibillion-dollar enterprise,” Newsom said in a statement. “I’m proud to build on our leadership with today’s legislation to expand and protect our college athletes’ rights to reap the rewards from their sacrifices and success. I thank Senator Skinner and Senator Bradford for their tireless work to advance this fundamental matter of fairness and equity.”

“I am grateful to Governor Newsom for his continued support on the issue of fair compensation for college athletes,” Bradford said in a statement. “Not only did the Governor facilitate the end of the chattel system in college sports for California when he signed SB 206 in 2019, his actions in support of the bill that Senator Skinner and I authored became the catalyst for change that has reverberated throughout the nation.”

“California for the win – again!” Skinner added in the statement. “We were the first state to grant college athletes the right to earn money from their name, image, and likeness with SB 206, the Fair Pay to Play Act, two years ago. And we sparked a national movement against the NCAA’s exploitation of college athletes, with more than 25 states joining our cause. Thank you, Gov. Newsom, for signing SB 26 and continuing California as the standard bearer for protecting student athletes’ rights nationwide.”

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