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California Bill Allowing Student-Athletes To Be Paid Passes Another Step

How will the NCAA respond?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert-Press Conference Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

A bill in the California legislature allowing for the state’s student-athletes to profit from the use of their name and/or likeness advanced through another subcommittee on July 9th. The bipartisan vote was 11-0 with one abstention.

The NCAA strongly disagrees with the bill, with NCAA President Mark Emmert submitting a letter to the legislature advocating against passing the bill. It is widely speculated that if the bill becomes law the NCAA could rule California student-athletes ineligible for athletic competition.

So far this hasn’t deterred the California legislature. The subcommittees chairman, Jose Medina, called the NCAA’s tactics and tone “akin to bullying.

This is the latest in the fight between the NCAA and paying student-athlete advocates. It follows in line with other cases such as UCLA’s Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit to receive money for use of his likeness in video games, and players from Northwestern football attempting to form a union.

The “Fair Pay to Play Act” will now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and be heard when lawmakers return to work in August.

This is one to keep following as it presents maybe the most high-profile convergence of forces on this contentious issue. Take a look at some of the possible outcomes from BTPowerhouse’s Thomas Beindit here.