California closer to letting college athletes make money

The California Assembly has passed legislation to let college athletes make money, setting up a confrontation with the Indianapolis-based NCAA that could jeopardize the athletic futures of programs at USC, UCLA and Stanford.

The bill would let college athletes hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. And it would stop universities and the NCAA from banning athletes who take the money.

The Assembly passed the bill 66-0 on Monday, a few days after the bill got an endorsement from NBA superstar Lebron James, who did not go to college.

Universities oppose the bill. The NCAA has warned the bill, if passed, could mean California universities would be ineligible for national championships.

The California Senate must take a final vote on the bill by Friday.

Some experts say the NCAA could be forced to make drastic system changes if the bill becomes law.

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One thought on “California closer to letting college athletes make money

  1. The problem that I see with this law is that there is a Ninth Circuit decision expressly holding that states cannot pass laws that dictate what the NCAA can and cannot do because, due to the inherent need for college athletic rules to be uniform across the country, it would violate the dormant commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution. See NCAA v. Miller, 10 F.3d 633 (9th Cir. 1993)(holding that a Nevada law establishing procedural requirements that the NCAA had to follow in infractions cases was unconstitutional). In short, one state cannot dictate the law across the country. I don’t see how this law gets around that precedent, which, regardless of what one thinks about whether and how college athletes should be compensated, is rather clearly the right decision. A single state should not be allowed to establish the law nationwide. Otherwise, one can think of all kinds of ridiculous situations where one state could prohibit the NCAA from suspending players who use performance enhancing drugs or from enforcing any other of its rules.