The ability to allow collegiate players to profit off their name and likeness has been debated for quite some time now, and now the state of California may be looking to make it legal.
NCAA and California
Back in March, U.S. House Representative Mark Walker (R-NC) proposed a bill that would amend the tax code to allow student-athletes to profit off of their name and likeness. The state of California, meanwhile, is not looking to wait for the House of Representatives to debate and pass his bill. A bill has been proposed in the state to allow California student-athletes to receive compensation for the use of their own image, name and likeness starting in 2023.
This bill was passed last month by the state Senate by a 31-4 vote, and the bill will be debated in a hearing on Tuesday in front of the California’s Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee.
If the bill is approved after that, it will then move to the state’s Higher Education Committee. The committee will then have until July 11 to approve it in order to keep the legislation alive for the remainder of the year.
While the bill sounds like good news for student-athletes and for fans of the NCAA Football and Basketball franchises, not everyone approved of this move, namely NCAA President Mark Emmert. Emmert, in a letter to the chairs of the two State Assembly committees, wrote that if this bill is passed, then California schools may be prohibited from postseason play for violating NCAA rules.
In the letter, Emmert also asked the committees to postpone any debates of the bill while the NCAA goes over the matter. As we have reported in the past, the NCAA launched a “working group” designed to look at this issue, and the group is expected to issue its final report in October.
What does this mean for NCAA Football and Basketball?
While this bill would be a step forward, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the NCAA will allow players to profit off of their name. The reason being is while the state of California may look to make this legal, it still does not change the NCAA’s rules and position on this issue since college players are still bound to their rules.
While pressure on the state and federal level may eventually force the NCAA’s hand on this, we will get a better sense of where we are once the NCAA’s working group issues its report on the matter. If the members of the committee, many of whom are college presidents and league commissioners, recommend that players should be allowed to receive compensation, then that could be the deciding factor.
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