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California Governor Gavin Newsom signs bill co-sponsored by NCPA that will allow college athletes to secure sports agents and compensation for use of their name, image, and likeness...

Advocates: SB 206, The Fair Pay to Play Act

Left to Right: Sen Steven Bradford, antitrust law prof Marc Edelman, fomer Stanford VB player Hayley Hodson, Sen Nancy Skinner, SD Chargers' Russell Okung, NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma, & economist Andy Schwarz

The Fair Pay to Play Act (SB 206), a bill co-sponsored by the National College Players Association (NCPA), was signed into law today by California governor Gavin Newsom!  The law will allow college athletes to hire sports agents and receive compensation for use of their name, image, and likeness beginning in 2023. 

NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma stated, “This is the beginning of the end of the 2nd class citizenship NCAA sports imposes on college athletes.  College athletes deserve the same economic rights and freedoms afforded to other students and citizens.   We are now calling on other states to do the same and are taking steps to make sure it happens.  Players everywhere deserve equal rights.  The NCAA will get on board or be plunged into irrelevance.  Either way, players win and fans will continue enjoying college sports.”

Andy Schwarz, one of the bill’s co-sponsors and the co-founder of the Historical Basketball League, said: “For those of us like Ramogi and me, who have been working on issues like this since the 1990s, it’s wonderful to see the tide of public opinion turn towards athletes’ rights and away from the doubletalk and doom-saying of the NCAA and its members.  Today’s signing opens a door, and now it’s up to all of us to charge through that door and fight for full equality under the law for college athletes.”

Hayley Hodson, a former Stanford All American women’s volleyball player who retired over concussions and testified in support of the bill, stated, “We have the power to change history for the better and this bill is just the first step in correcting injustices long enacted upon college athletes.”

NFLPA Executive Director De Smith stated, “We are thrilled that SB 206 is now the law in California as a result of the efforts of Ramogi Huma, the NCPA and its partners.  We will continue to support the NCPA and this movement because we simply want every college athlete to be treated fairly."

Lawmakers in South Carolina and New York have already made moves to introduce similar bills in their state.  State Senators Nancy Skinner and Steven Bradford authored SB 206 and big voices such as Lebron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant have voiced their support. 

United Steelworkers President Tom Conway stated, “We’re proud to have been supporting college athletes’ pursuit of justice for two decades.  This law can help bring forth funds for 50% of former college athletes who suffer chronic sports injuries that are being ignored by NCAA sports.”

NCAA rules currently prohibit college athletes from receiving pay for endorsing products, signing autographs, throwing sports camps, having a YouTube channel, and a host of other activities.  Even players receiving no scholarship at all are subject to these restrictions.

A recent College Pulse poll found that 84% of regular college students and 89% of college athletes feel that the NCAA rules exploit college athletes.  The poll also found that college athlete name, image, and likeness compensation was favored by 77% of regular students and 81% of college athletes.  Additionally, a Rasmussen public opinion poll published in March found that approximately 66% of Americans support allowing college athlete compensation for use of their name, image, and likeness.  

The NCPA has been at the forefront of the college athletes’ rights movements, and has spearheaded a number of legislative actions and bills on the local, state, and federal levels.