NewsCovering Kern County


New law will allow student-athletes to receive paid endorsements

Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 21:22:38-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A new law has been signed by the governor that will allow a new way for student-athletes to get paid while on and off their playing fields.

The Fair Play to Pay Act would allow student-athletes to profit off of their likeness, image, and name.

This is something that is prohibited currently through the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which states that the new law is confusing some California universities.

"They now have the opportunity to now do what every other university student can legally do," said Governor Newsom. "It's interesting that the only people that sign and waive their right to do this are athletes."

Governor Newsom announced on twitter that he has signed the Fair Play to Pay Act on the set of Lebron James shows "The Shop".

Jerice Fears, a former basketball player, for California State University Bakersfield says this is a great day for student-athletes.

"All the hard work that athletes put in and all the money that these schools are making off these athletes need to be compensated for their hard work and their names being used," Fears said.

The Fair Play to Pay Act is the first of its kind to pass in the country. It will allow students to sign endorsements deals with athletic clothing, fast food companies, and sneaker manufactures just like the professionals do.

This has been met with opposition from the NCAA who released the following statement.

"As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rule-making process.

Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California."

"The gig is up, $14.4 billion go to these universities and colleges," said Newsom. "Billion plus revenue goes to the NCAA themselves and the actual product the folks who put their lives on the line are getting nothing."

The new law applies to all sports and all student-athletes enrolled in public and private four-year college.

The new law bans California colleges from enforcing NCAA rules that will prevent the “NCAA from banning California Universities from intercollegiate sports if their athletes sign sponsorship deals.”

"Someone can say 'oh just go get a job' but with the amount of hours you put in for school, workouts, traveling, there is not really a lot of time," Fears said. "And when you are a full-time student and student-athlete on scholarship they do control all of your time."

The NCAA on September 11th asked the governor to veto the bill through a public letter.

The letter in part stated, it "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions.”

Fears had this message to the NCAA as they further discuss how they will address this new law.

"If you haven't been a student-athlete maybe you should take a day and walk with one and see what they have to do on a daily basis," said Fears. "And maybe then you will understand the struggles and everything we have to do."

23ABC reached out to CSUB for comment on the new law and they shared they did not have a comment at this time.

The bill is scheduled to go into effect 2023.