California State Senate Passes Bill to allow Student Athletes to profit from likeness and endorsements.

College athletes in California would be able to sign with agents and profit from endorsement deals under a bill that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, prompting a potential showdown with the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., which bars such compensation.

The NCAA president has said if this passes all colleges in California could be banned from NCAA championships.

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I mean, I don't see how the state of California can force student athletes to be able to take endorsements. Either the article is poorly written and doesn't actually explain what CA's trying to do, or the whole thing is just aspirational and stupid. The state legislature can say 'hermagerd student athletes can take endorsement money'. The NCAA can, and I'm sure would, say 'hold my beer and watch this'. And the pac-975468 becomes it's own independent conference. No more USC-ND. No more UCLA tourney bids.

I don't see how this would be any different then a state saying 'athletes can use whatever steroids and peds they want'. If USC still wants to participate in the ncaa, or the Chargers still want to play in the nfl, or the Warriors still want to play in the nba, they'll follow the rules of the governing body anyway and not employ/enroll athletes who dope.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

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The State isn't forcing anyone. It is simply saying student athletes are allowed to do so if they want to. More specifically it is written in a way that is stating that student athletes are to be recognized the same way Olympic athletes are. Amateur but allowed to profit from their own likeness.

Ultimately it sets up a showdown with the NCAA which is what the State legislature wants. It wants the NCAA to respond and threaten kicking CA schools out or to actually do it. Then the State will sue the NCAA and push the issue to the Supreme Court. OR it could result in opening a door to a separate collegiate sports association that schools could choose to voluntarily be managed by instead of the NCAA. The leading idea is that if one association allows kids to profit while the other doesn't then either a) schools will jump ship from the NCAA as they watch top talent recruits all go to CA schools or the more likely b) the universities start to force actual change in the NCAA and have it do the same and the CA schools remain or are reinstated.

Where it will be particularly interesting is in the interim scenario where a student athlete gets an agent and does start doing commercials or whatever and the NCAA comes down hard on that specific athlete. Then what happens? What does CA do in reply? It is likely that they have plans for that case but it is unlikely that they would be able to coordinate that with an athlete ahead of time, at least not officially.

Exactly. This will force the NCAA into a corner that will require much needed change. Athletes absolutely should be able to profit off of their likeness.

Then the State will sue the NCAA and push the issue to the Supreme Court.

I don't think it would be be that simple. It likely wouldn't be a state vs. NCAA court case, but instead involve the Universities.

In reality, it would create a quagmire for the Universities. A University would have to decide to side with NCAA and disallow profitability or side with California and allow profitability. In turn, the Universities would either sue or be sued by NCAA or California. The issue at hand would not be whether an amateur can receive compensation, but whether the NCAA can severe off the Universities from the organization OR whether a University must allow its students to comply with CA law (depending on whether Universities comply with NCAA or CA law).

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Whoops. Thanks for catching that. Correct. The State will not sue directly but will push their agenda through a university(ies) that will defy the NCAA. There are already leading candidates for the lead university to sue #sacsauces (International pun)

Universities will need to comply with State law which naturally supersede any bylaw of a voluntarily membership in a nonprofit, even the NCAA. The State will not, as I understand, sue Universities that do not immediately comply as the State, as you said below, is pushing a national agenda. All schools in the UC family will immediately comply, the private univesities are expected to follow.

Universities could sue the State but I see no basis for that. Not sure why you think they would sue the NCAA as changing internal bylaws of a member organization is handled internally. It's more likely, and expected, that the NCAA will react and punish or ban those universities. Then the State, through those universities, will react and sue the NCAA. The NCAA could try suing the State but again on what grounds?

The issue at hand is actually whether the NCAA can severe members that are following the law. The NCAA is painted into a corner because it cannot dictate State law and it can't legally punish members for following the law unless the Supreme Court rules they can. (which, really, who knows these days)

My guess is the NCAA's stance will be the state law violates the rules and regulation of the non-profit(ha) NCAA and therefore the NCAA does not have to include those schools in its organization.

Maybe non-profit, but more likely amatuer status of the athletes.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Doesn't matter what the NCAA says they don't make laws, they follow them, same as everyone else. If they ban schools for following the law then they will be sued and the schools will (should) win.

You are right that they don't make laws but they are allowed to have rules and regulations that are more restrictive than the law.

Similarly, many home owner associations have far more restrictive clauses than the local ordinances. But if you want to live there you have to agree with those more restrictive clauses.

Not trying to fight, but wanted to point out my view of the matter. The NCAA can take the stance that if the California schools don't want to follow those rules, the schools are opting out of the NCAA.

no worries. Not reading as argumentative, hope I'm not either. It's a good conversation.

two distinctions

State law and local building ordinances are different beasts. I know you're using that as just an illustrative example but it's not apples to apples.

Additionally, home owner associations cannot require you to break any laws. As an example, the State passes a Water Conservation law restricting the use of water for lawns. Those home owner associations cannot compel you to break that law to maintain a vibrant green lawn. Similarly they cannot expel you if you choose to follow the law rather than the bylaws of the home owners association.

The NCAA cannot compel universities to break the law no matter what their bylaws state. They can, as they are threatening, expel those universities from the NCAA. But that is what the State wants and where the suit will be made to get one of three outcomes; change the NCAA, establish a rival organization, or force a judgement by the Supreme Court at the National level.

I'd also add that those colleges (For the most part) are state entities as well, not private, so I would think it would be mandatory to abide by state rule.



I don't see how this would be any different then a state saying 'athletes can use whatever steroids and peds they want'.

I agree, unless it's written along the lines that a University must not prohibit students from taking endorsements. Then it sets up a quagmire for Universities on whether to follow CA law or NCAA rules.

Update: just read the first line of the bill:

This bill, the Fair Pay to Play Act, would prohibit every California postsecondary educational institution, athletic association, conference, or other group or organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics from providing a prospective intercollegiate student athlete with compensation in relation to the athlete's name, image, or likeness, or preventing a student participating in intercollegiate athletics from earning compensation as a result of the use of the student's name, image, or likeness or obtaining professional representation relating to the student's participation in intercollegiate athletics.

So it is written that Universities cannot profit off a student's likeness unless that student is allowed to profit. If passed, it would be on the Universities to comply with CA law or with NCAA.

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Depending on how things are organized, that could also affect bowl games in CA. Is the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association legally an "organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics"? If so, that would mean any player in the Rose Bowl could sign an agent and get paid for that game under CA law. Would the NCAA drop all bowl games from California just to avoid this law?

Not sure that would be the case. Unless they attend a university in Cali. However, the Rose Bowl tie-in for the playoff may be in jeopardy w/ the NCAA throwing the potential ban out there.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

yeah.. its already legal for people to sign endorsement deals

its also legal to have requirements & conditions to be eligible for jobs/clubs/scholarships

and may in fact result in encouraging some of our students to stay in school rather than the motivation to go pro early because it's the only way to earn an income,

This part may seem a possibility but I think the opposite is much more likely. Athletes able to profit on their likeness will be ones most likely to go pro, and their agents and money managers will be showing them (and their families) graph after graph, chart after chart to illustrate the growth in their income once they do go pro. It will be a MUCH easier decision to make than before and you will see a larger revolving door than ever before. Not that I mind. Go get your money.

Taking steroids without a prescription is illegal, but being paid for your job is not. So that's the main difference.

And this is a funny phrase:

force student athletes to be able to

This is why people from other countries literally risk their lives to come to America.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

I think a better comparison would be marijuana. It is legal to smoke weed in some states, but marijuana use by athletes is prohibited by the NCAA. Do those rules get waived for student-athletes at schools in states where it is legal? Players in the NFL have to follow its substance abuse policy no matter what state they live in and what is legal there.

This brings up another problem. When you compare the NCAA to pro leagues or other industries is that those people are employees. The last thing the NCAA wants is the discussion of whether or not student-athletes are technically employees to be brought to the forefront again.

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-Stan Lee

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"11-0, bro"
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Whoops. Double post. Nothing to see here.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

At first glance I'm inclined to be supportive of this. But I wish people would stop propagating the the intellectually dishonest and lazy notion that athletes don't benefit at all from the current paradigm.

When everyone around you is making money off of your effort and labor, it's hard to acknowledge the small benefit.

Given the current political push to cancel all student debt knowing that all full scholarship athletes are able to graduate debt-free, I wouldn't necessarily say the benefit is small.

If you're out of state at VT, a full ride is close to a $150k benefit over 4 years. That's not exactly tiny, it just doesn't feel like a benefit because you're not directly impacted by it.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

It's small when you consider that is the retail price, not the cost the university incurs for a student to attend VT. It's small when you see that every coach is making $250K+ annually, the AD is making $2M+ annually, and the athletic department is raking in millions annually.

Uh, the athletic department doesn't get a discount on scholarship cost...

What I'm saying is that it doesn't actually "cost" the university $25K annually for a student to attend, even if that's the going rate for tuition, room and board.

It doesn't cost Apple $999 to make the iPhone X, but that's what you pay for one.

See: for-profit vs. non-profit.

No it costs the Hokie Club at Tech that and before 2015ish it cost the Athletic Department to cover the shortfall of the Hokie Club.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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College Sports are doomed. Athletes should be able to get these types of endorsements, but it just makes the blue blood schools even more attractive to go too since the blue blood states get the most eye balls the endorsements will be better for the athletes that go to them.

It makes it even harder to compete. The whole system is broken.


Yup. This. Annnnnd, the coaching job to control egos and foster a team first mentality when one kid is making a couple 100 thousand is going to be practically impossible. Imagine being the coach that wants to sit a kid for violating team rules when that kid has Nike sponsoring him.

Not to mention, you're giving college kids 100s of 1000s of dollars. That would be great if the kids got good advice and invested properly and the end result was helping families get AND stay out of poverty. However, with 70% of the NFLers being bankrupt within two years of leaving the league, it seems very unlikely that that will happen.

The schools/coaches are already disproportionately compensated; I'm not sure how students getting some of this changes anything.

I'm not saying that Athlete's don't deserve any money. I'm just saying this just puts another barrier between the descent programs like Virginia Tech, and the upper echelon teams like Bama, Michigan, Ohio State, etc.


I mean I've kind of grown used to the reality that VT will probably never win a major title. We don't have the money or the brand to build it up, and any headway we think we are making is easily outpaced by those ahead of us. Our best shot was back in 1999 when we were a disrupter to the establishment, but we pissed that opportunity away. Even worse, we aren't even remotely top dog in our own conference or region, so our barrier to national relevance entry is even higher.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

With TV and the internet the way it is now region doesnt matter. You can watch Michigan and Bama and whomever every game. Regional brands dont matter like they used to.

I like this. It's a position statement more than an action and puts the NCAA members in the State in position to support change in NCAA rules.

The NCAA enjoys PNP status because of its academic mission...which relies to a great extent on the players being students. Thus, rules unrelated to academics and/or treat athletes different than other students (transfer eligibility, outside employment, etc.) are always going to be on shaky footing.

If the bill is adopted, CA would be saying, "NCAA, on this issue you are on your own"

I personally think this is bad for the sport. Imo the popularity of college football stems directly from individual school pride. No matter how bad VT gets at football I will still always be a VT fan due to my relationship with the school. I would sooner stop watching college football than root for another team.

As fun as it is seeing great athletes come to VT, I only care because I want VT to compete. If the level of play across the board was only slightly better than high school level, I would still watch and root for our team.

I don't have a great way to articulate this, but I don't think that the student athletes as a whole have a strong position here. If they were all replaced with walk on students I would still be a consumer of the good that the NCAA is selling. I could be in the extreme minority, but I think the NCAA should hold their position here and say "no we can't allow active student athletes to receive compensation beyond what a regular student has access to due to their time playing the sport under our brands. Allowing that would harm the balance of competition within our sport."

If some kid ha s YouTube channel of him playing fort nite and a lot of people want to watch him, great. If a kid wants to work at jimmy johns for the same hourly rate as everyone else, great. But opening the door to selling memorabilia and commercials has way too large of a possibility (honestly an inevitability) that it will be exploited as a way to gain an unfair advantage.

Recruit Prosim

But opening the door to selling memorabilia and commercials has way too large of a possibility (honestly an inevitability) that it will be exploited as a way to gain an unfair advantage.

Unless the school is ok with the athlete using their image and trademarks then whatever memorabilia they are selling is likely going to be head shots etc. Now the university could take the bull by the horns and sign athletes up to a Rev Share agreement and make money whenever the athlete makes money and hold approval for use of their IP.

Additionally if universities are really smart and I tend to think they will be then you'll see their apparel contracts include provisions for rev share payments between athletes and school on anything the player does during their time playing there, not a cut out of the athletes revenue but a percentage added on-top of it.

It does make it harder to control influence though for sure. Under this open income rule, if a booster was inclined to they could drop money on a kid to do a commercial as long as he was a VT athlete.

Is this another step closer to the return of NCAA Football by EA Sports?


Was the first thing I thought of

So the competitive gap grows even wider. I can go to Tennessee and Haslam can pay me $1million to do a Flying J commercial or I can go to VT and try and sell headshots for $5.

Recruit Prosim

This proposal doesn't create new money. If a booster has $1M to give, then it is almost certainly already going to the University athletic dept...or in the case of Tennessee, lotto tickets.

Or funneled into athletes pockets already.

We could play at that game as well.

Thinking this through, this is a market disruption move. The sooner the state of VA gets behind it the better. We actually could be part of the disruption and get ahead of the competition.


VA ahead of the curve!? LMAO!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

I wish they would be.

This has the smell of all the other conferences creating their own TV Station, and the ACC being the last to adopt to the model.

If the State of VA were smart, they would jump on it now, so we can be part of the disruption. We are at risk to be pivoted out of the competitive market.


Curious why the wages of a Fortnite streamer or a Jimmy John's sandwich slinger are good and proper, but the wages paid to a popular athlete for an endorsement are somehow an unfair exploit?

Honestly, it sounds like you've been conditioned by experience to expect that college athletes cannot and should not profit from their likeness, that it would be wrong and unseemly to do so. Yet we know in all other areas of life, from Wheatie's boxes to 'going to Disneyworld!,' that an athlete's likeness and endorsement can be IMMENSELY valuable and carry significant economic worth. That's not an exploit or an unfair advantage, that's how this world works and has always worked when you're among the very best at something people care a lot about, and it's something that college athletes should not be deprived.

It's not about the dollar amount, and maybe those are bad examples, but they shouldn't be given money by people with an interest to have them come play for their school. I don't even have them profiting off their likeness if there is a way to avoid it from becoming a bidding war between schools for talent.

Recruit Prosim

It's bad for the fan, the schools, and the NCAA, but the best solution is to get rid of athletic scholarships. IF you are good enough to make money playing a sport, play full time or as a side job. If you are not, play for fun, possibly at a college, but not be required to put more time into your hobby than you want to. Kind of like how everywhere else in the world does sports.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Scholarships and subsequent restricting of numbers help keep college athletics competitive. There are stories of Nebraska offering hundreds of scholarships just to keep kids from going to other schools.

Recruit Prosim

Maybe other states will try to push a similar bill through, or maybe athletes take a stand and say they won't play in championships unless the California players can. It's a stretch, but the NCAA is a money hungry organization that might have to bite the bullet here to maximize their profits in the future.

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Virginia Tech fanatic.

I get your point but one note, the NCAA is a non-profit organization. I would amend what you said to state:

might have to bite the bullet here to maximize their funnel profits to schools in the future.

One element not readily discussed is how few athletes will really be able to transition this into big bucks. Those that are destined to go pro will get big bucks. Those that aren't, and all those in Olympic Sports, will at long last be allowed to have a job to help pay bills, run a youtube channel /podcast/ etc. that will help them earn money to eat and live.

Had the NCAA allowed more of the latter and been open to larger stipends and life-long insurance on all sports related injuries while at school then I would bet they could have held this off. But they are a morally corrupt organization that deserves to be burnt to the ground.

spot on...i regret that i have but one leg to give

Another twist if not already not permitted per player contracts would be for the players to tell the schools they are not allowed to use their likenesses. If it is part of the contract that would be a good area to start focusing changes on. Use all the nameless jerzey's you want but, if you use a players name or image for profit you pay the player.

I think even non-scholarship athletes would be able to make some money off of this. They would all need to sign shoe deals. Some will get more money then others to do so, but even the lower level guys will get some coin.


My question is, how would this work with promotional photo shoots and the things that players due to in terms of appearances for the school? Would the schools be in a position to start paying players for these things? How could that happen in a way that is somewhat equitable between player or would stuff like that be waived from this in the form of a contractual agreement between the school and the student athlete.

It sounds to me like the bill could shake things up for the better, bu there are a lot of questions.

Welp, as a response, the NCAA is looking to potentially ban California schools from competing in NCAA sanctioned championships.
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To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I expect more schools to start joining CA in the fight.


Conspiracy theory time:

I lowkey think this is California's way of protecting its own interests of California schools performing well at athletics. They have a blue blood in both major sports (USC and UCLA) that have shown no signs of life or improvement and are growing increasingly irrelevant. The PAC is the weakest conference and lately has been dominated by Washington and Oregon. I think this is at least a little bit of motivation to increase the allure for athletes to come to their schools. I don't think this is a purely moral decision. Follow the money. Jet fuel. Steel beams.

Recruit Prosim

Nope. This is disruption. California is probably the most entrepreneurial driven state, and this just smells of some very sharp minds looking at the pies the NCAA has locked up in their warehouse, and wanting some pieces of those.


Yeah, like so many issues in modern society, the marketing and motivations are pretty far apart. There are legitimate, altruistic arguments to be made for dismantling the NCAA monopoly on student athletes. But I'm pretty sure most of the parties involved don't give two shits about the athletes. Some want the cash, some are political opportunists, but few are genuinely and deliberately advocating for the interests of the 99% of athletes that aren't going to play in the NFL or NBA.

This conspiracy doesn't get California. This isn't some SEC or B1G state. California (the state) would be OK with all its Universities being mediocre at sports. It's the Universities and alumni that want to keep the sports competitive.

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Sure, but who drove this?

I'm with the conspiracy theory. Some wealthy alumni got together and said "What do we have to lose?"

The status quo hasn't been working out for them. This wasn't driven by people who don't care about sports. This was driven by people who DO care.

The NCAA drove this with their archaic amateurism policies. It's really that simple.

California doesn't want this for California. They want it for America. They have a history of pushing a progressive agenda onto the rest of America. When you're 10% of the Country, you have major sway in US policies and regulations.

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Because California thinks they know best, and they'd like to dictate that to the rest of the country. That's why it passed, but I'd be curious who was really behind this. There are always people pulling the strings, and they're usually the ones who stand to make the most money.

I actually can see both sides of this one.

College sports are getting sucked into the vortex of professional sports.

How much is an average athlete worth "in likeness"? What would you pay for an autographed picture of Jalen Holston in street clothes and no reference to a VT logo? How much in uniform? How much does VT get?

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

Thats for the boosters that have been paying players under the table for decades to reveal

I can just imagine California coaches telling top tier recruits at other schools.

"Come play here. Want to get paid for endorsements? We won't stop you.

Want to get Make a YouTube channel and have it monetized? We won't stop you.

Want to sell signed merch? We won't stop you."

Every player with star power will be flocking to CA regardless of the opportunity to play at the highest level. Get paid while you build up college level exposure. That would fuck up the recruiting status quo/paradigm enough to ruffle some feathers.

The question is will the NCAA just turn to all schools from California that allow this practice and say you give up the right to play in ALL post season and championship events. No bowls, no big dance, period.

See my post above. They are threatening that...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Missed your post above. Leg for a good thought.

That is exactly what would happen, but how long would the NCAA hold out When SEC and BIG conferences are getting pissed that all of the top prospects in the country and their back yard are all choosing schools where they can foreseeable make a profit in terms of marketing themselves in a given college town/city.

The ability to get exposure to the pros & make a little cash, that they don't have to hide, would trump the facilities of Bama or Georgia in conjunction with championship prospects for a lot of these kids, and justifiably so.

And that's not to say they these kids are necessarily going to be getting shoe deals or anything ( for a Zion Williamson maybe), but in an age where Instagram and YouTube exist, if you have followers you are in a very lucrative position to profit from your likeness alone.

Yeah this is going to work out well

Something is certainly going to break.

Won't be boring.

Yup! This is a step in...some direction. It'll be fun to sit back and watch the chaos

It's California. Nothing CA ever does works out well. Here in LA we have homeless all over and a typhus outbreak. We're trying to bring back the plague.

This move is classic CA. Create a big issue over something that affects a tiny, tiny portion of the population while the roads, schools, and everything else need fixing.

Heres something they may not have considered.

Right now, the model depends on donations from alumni, who often get some kind of tax break.

The closer this gets to professional sports, the harder that facade is going to be to maintain. I mean, we're going to donate to a professional sport?

Yes, this doesn't get us there. But it sure gets us a little closer.

Wouldn't that only be true if the institutions are directly paying player in some sort of free market context, which this bill is not necessarily trying to push.

If there was an open market to buy players, I think that is a fair idea, but I don't think that this or even a modest stipend for players would really get us there.

This is just the next step towards that, the way I see it.

I mean, once you open the door to compensation, how can this not go there? This is Pandora's Box.

Here is my idea, and it's PERFECT!

There is a salary cap, and all the coaches and assistance salaries count against that salary cap. You want to pay your head coach 8.5 million? That's less for players. You want 13 recruiting analyst? Sorry. You think this recruit is the second coming of Payton Manning you better pony up. All Kids sign 4 year deals, and if they suck they get cut at a cap hit.

The only issue with that is that they tired to limit coaches contracts 30-40 years ago, coaches went to court and won. So it's illegal to not let the market decide coaching contracts.

My solution to that is to not allow professional coaches. I never had the chance to have Frank tell me how to get after it while I was at VT, so it's an impermissible benefit. The coaches would be on scholarships just like the players, there would be faculty advisors donating their free time just like every other club/organization on campus. Now coaches could have a longer coaching period than the players, so they could get undergrad, masters, and phd paid for. But it would be interesting in recruiting coaches.