A California bill, asserting that athletes attending state schools could earn compensation for the use of their own name, image or likeness, was passed in the state Senate last month by a landslide, 31–4. However, the grass may not be greener on the other side of this situation.
In the wake of the bill, which is expected to begin 2023, NCAA president Mark Emmert warned that if the California bill allowing in-state college passes, schools could potentially be barred from competing in NCAA championships. In a letter sent to the chair of two State Assembly committees last week, Emmett also asked that committees postpone their evaluation of the bill while the NCAA examines the rules regarding athlete compensation for their names, images, and likenesses.
“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” Emmert said in his letter. “Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist.”
According to Sports Illustrated, a hearing and vote by the Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee will be conducted next week. The bill would next be reviewed by the Higher Education Committee and has to be approved by July 11 to remain active this year.
Twenty-three NCAA Division-I schools could possibly be impacted by the bill, if passed, including four Pac-12 programs.