Governor signs law allowing college athletes to profit from endorsements

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Monday legislation to allow college athletes to earn income for the first time from their names, images and likenesses.

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The California Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation earlier this year, a move that was praised by NBA star LeBron James.

“Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model,” Newsom tweeted on Monday morning, announcing he had signed the legislation, making California “the first state to allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness.”

The law, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, will prohibit California colleges and universities from enforcing NCAA rules preventing student-athletes from being compensated for the use of their names, images and likenesses and from endorsements and sponsorships.

PHOTO: Wide receiver Devon Williams of the USC Trojans holds on to pass as he breaks loose from cornerback Obi Eboh of the Stanford Cardinal for a first down in the first half of the game on September 7, 2019, in Los Angeles.Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Wide receiver Devon Williams of the USC Trojans holds on to pass as he breaks loose from cornerback Obi Eboh of the Stanford Cardinal for a first down in the first half of the game on September 7, 2019, in Los Angeles.

The state Assembly passed the bill earlier this month in a 73-0 vote. An earlier version was approved by the state Senate on May 22 and the amended bill was passed by the state Senate, sending it to Newsom’s desk.

The law will go into effect in 2023.

The Assembly voted on the bill after LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers tweeted his support for the legislation.

PHOTO: LeBron James of the LA Lakers and Team LeBron dribbles down court during the first quarter of the NBA All-Star game on February 17, 2019, in Charlotte, North Carolina.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images, FILE
LeBron James of the LA Lakers and Team LeBron dribbles down court during the first quarter of the NBA All-Star game on February 17, 2019, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“California can change the game,” James, a frequent critic of the NCAA who went straight to the NBA from high school, said in his tweet.

In a statement released on Monday, NCAA officials predicted the law will create confusion throughout the nation as more states follow in California’s footsteps.

“As a