California bill will allow NCAA student athletes to be paid

Associated Press

Under the new law from governor Gavin Newsom, college players will be able to hire agents, sign sponsorship deals and appear in commercials.

Associated Press |

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Currently, university athletes aren't allowed to get payment for their likeness. This new law will change that.

California is the first state in the US to pass a law allowing university athletes to hire agents and get paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. Some things to know about the new legislation:

Who does this affect? 

University athletes at public and private schools in California. It does not apply to community colleges.

Will schools have to pay athletes a salary?

No. Student athletes won’t get salaries like professional athletes do. But it will let them earn money in other ways, such as signing endorsement deals with shoe companies or appearing in a commercial for a local business.

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When does it take effect?

Jan. 1, 2023. Colleges and universities have three years to prepare for the law. It also gives the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) time to decide how it will respond. The association has threatened to ban California schools from NCAA competitions because the new law would give them an unfair recruiting advantage - talented student athletes would be more likely to go to schools in California, where they could earn more money. 

What is the law now?

Currently, the NCAA bans student athletes from hiring agents or signing endorsement deals. They do allow schools to give athletes cost-of-living stipends of a few thousand dollars per year. Also, the NCAA allows tennis players to accept up to USD $10,000 (HKD $78,387) in prize money each year. Olympic athletes can keep their prize money, too.

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Can student athletes with endorsement deals keep their scholarships?

Yes. The law bans schools from revoking scholarships from players who sign endorsement deals.

Can athletes sign any endorsement deal they want?

No. Student athletes cannot sign endorsement deals that conflict with their school’s existing contracts. For example: If a school has a contract with Nike, student athletes at that school could not sign endorsement deals with Under Armour or any other Nike competitor.