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.
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.
Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 30, 2019
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.
“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.
I’m so incredibly proud to share this moment with all of you. @gavinnewsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it! @uninterrupted hosted the formal signing for SB 206 allowing college athletes to responsibly get paid. pic.twitter.com/NZQGg6PY9d
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 30, 2019
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.