Published: Wed, October 02, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Brooklyn lawmaker wants New York's college athletes to get paid too

Brooklyn lawmaker wants New York's college athletes to get paid too

The state of California is moving forward in its efforts to change amateurism in college sports.

Governor Gavin Newsom, a democrat in California, on Monday signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, essentially guaranteeing that colleges in California cannot penalize their athletes from collecting endorsement money and setting up a head-on collision between the NCAA and colleges in the state. When - and if - it takes effect as scheduled four years from now, athletes who attend colleges in the state will be allowed to hire agents and sign endorsement deals to make a little extra meal money.

Newsom tweeted a video showing him signing the law during a special episode of HBO's "The Shop: Uninterrupted" alongside National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James, one of many professional athletes who have endorsed the measure.

James never went to college, but if he had, the Akron native likely would have played at Ohio State.

In a call with reporters on Monday, Newsom seemed unconcerned that the NCAA might sue or ban California colleges from NCAA competition and said the measure aims to establish a new status quo by addressing a social-justice issue. Those are all NCAA violations and would put the schools and players in jeopardy of being disqualified by the NCAA, which oversees more than 1,100 schools. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).

But the governor, a former college baseball player, said he doubts the NCAA would kick California schools out, arguing that the state's 40 million people and status as the world's fifth-largest economy make it too big to lose. "Often times having to return to get a degree later in their career or after", Parker wrote in his legislative justification.

"Colleges and universities reap billions from these student athletes' sacrifices and success but block them from earning a single dollar", Newsom said.

"If Ed O'Bannon didn't take that first step, I don't think the minds of legislators across the country would be thinking this way", Jessop said. USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz reported Monday that legislators in South Carolina, New York and IL are all working on bills that track closely to California's and could follow also move forward toward adoption soon.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says a law he has signed to allow college athletes to make money from endorsements is a rebalancing of the power arrangement between athletes and institutions. "But that's the law right now".

Early Monday, Newsom tweeted a video of the signing recorded during a special episode of HBO's "The Shop: Uninterrupted". The NCAA said the California bill "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions".

Newsom predicts other states will soon establish similar laws.

"This is a game changer for student athletes and for equity in sports", said James.

Lawmakers in other states, including Florida and SC, have either filed bills similar to California's or said they plan to do so. The NCAA could respond to court losses with more concessions.

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