College athletes in California would be able to sign with agents and profit from endorsement deals under a bill that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, prompting a potential showdown with the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., which bars such compensation.
Senate Bill 206 by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) passed the Senate 31-4 and now heads to the Assembly for consideration in the coming months.
Skinner said universities and their coaches are raking in millions of dollars and the NCAA nets billions a year from collegiate sports — while athletes are barred from accepting any compensation beyond tuition, school fees, room and board and small cost-of-living stipends.
Skinner said her bill would treat college athletes the same as those who compete in the Olympics and give collegiate players an opportunity to “earn income from their talent” while retaining their amateur status.
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