California Senate passes bill that would allow college athletes to earn money

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As the NCAA prepares to take baby steps toward letting college athletes earn money from their names, likenesses, and images, California may force the organization’s legs.

Via Melody Gutierrez of the Los Angeles Times, the California Senate has passed a bill that would allow college athletes to earn money from endorsement deals without losing their amateur status, in the same way that Olympic athletes can leverage their fame to get paid while still competing as non-professionals.

The bill passed the 35-person Senate by a vote of 31-4. It will eventually be considered by the California Assembly.

“Olympic athletes are also considered amateur, so this does not professionalize our college athletics and may in fact result in encouraging some of our students to stay in school rather than the motivation to go pro early because it’s the only way to earn an income,” said Senator Beverly Skinner (D-Berkeley), the sponsor of the bill.

Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) was more blunt, and colorful.

“These men and women put butts in seats of arenas and stadiums all across the country and the universities make millions of dollars selling their jerseys and other paraphernalia . . . but these athletes benefit not one dime,” Gardena said. “This is a civil rights issue. This is a fairness issue.”

Opponents are concerned that the bill, if it becomes a law, could get California universities excluded from the NCAA. Which means that opponents who actually think the NCAA would exclude the likes of USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal from the NCAA should look a little harder for a more plausible basis to mount an opposition.

The time for giving college athletes the opportunity to get fair value for their talents, efforts, and sacrifices has come. Actually, it arrived several years ago. Those who profit from those students simply are trying to delay the day of reckoning for as long as possible, while they continue to misappropriate billions that get paid, only indirectly and in a small fraction, to those who generate it.

And, sadly, it seems to be working. Hopefully it won’t work much longer.

15 responses to “California Senate passes bill that would allow college athletes to earn money

  1. Somehow I think this thread is still going to be full of people who want college athletes to be exploited. They should be compensated for generating millions for the university. Other students are benefitting off their hard work and they should at least see something for the efforts they put in. Just not enough time to be a student athlete and work a part time job. Protect these kids at all costs.

  2. “This is a civil rights issue.”
    Umm, no. It may be many things, a civil right is not one of them.

  3. At first glance the Bill seems like an excellent idea since the NCAA and its convoluted bureaucracy dragged its feet. An $80-$100,000 scholarship is a valid counter argument. But since those scholarships are not guaranteed (they are year to year if you didn’t know), I have no problem with it. What is troubling is it opens up the doors of what type of “endorsements” are considered valid. Seems to me an athlete can be paid by some Alumni or Agent to get a kid to come to their program under this vague language. Pandora’s Box.

  4. Good…then Kamala Harris can penalize these institutions for not paying female athletes the same amount they male athletes…fairness and civil rights and all…

  5. Make sure the female athletes get paid the same as the male athletes…#fairness #equality

  6. California Senate passes bill that would allow college athletes to earn money

    It doesn’t really matter what Cali does, it’s all about the NCAA rule regarding paying amateur athletes, if the NCAA sticks with the current rule that means that any athlete that gets paid isn’t considered an amateur and therefore isn’t eligible to play college ball, PERIOD. This is a slippery slope these guys are fighting to try and decend!

    BTW at 99% of colleges the players don’t make any difference, it’s the school that draws the fans, it doesn’t matter if Barkley played at Penn St the fans weren’t there to see him, they were there to see the Penn St Panther football team, do you realize that Penn St. game attendance went UP the year after Sequon was drafted, so if it was these players that fans wanted to see you’d think the attendance would have went down not UP!

    Just like Ohio St which is my favorite team, I could care less who goes there or if its a bunch of no bodies that plays there I’m still rooting for Ohio St and I know 99% of the fans of other college teams feel the same way. So to say these players are what the fans pay to see, NAH it’s the school, 100% the school because we back the team = no matter what!

  7. Those Cali PAC-10 football programs need all the recruiting help they can get.

  8. I don’t know anyone that considers the majority of Olympic athletes to be amateurs. Even the relatively obscure sports have followings these days. Or they get home town endorsement deals. Not like the top NFL/NBA/MLB of course, but still a nice piece of change for lots of them.

  9. The crusade to ruin the football we love continues. The NFL is already a hot mess just leave us to enjoy our college football and stop infesting us with your PC garbage.

  10. Pay the kids.We pay to see them, not the suits in suites or back at NCAA HQ. These employees have been exploited way too long.

  11. That;s funny it may keep them in college longer yea right that is a good one. Only an elected official could come up with that one.

  12. I do like how we pretend like the athletes themselves do not benefit at all from playing college football.

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