After push from LeBron James and many others, California governor passes “Fair Pay to Play” act while on HBO’s The Shop

LeBron James
AKRON, OH – JULY 30: LeBron James addresses a crowd of students, parents, local officials and sponsors at the grand opening of the I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)

Pay for NCAA student-athletes has been a much-debated topic for a long time now, and it appears that changes are starting to be rolled out so that college athletes can possibly get their fair share as it pertains to their individual likenesses. That potential nationwide change can mostly be attributed to LeBron James and the state of California, as California’s governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 206 a.k.a. the “Fair Pay to Play” act on HBO’s The Shop.

This is the first legislation of its kind, and will allow NCAA athletes in California to finally make money off their name and likeness. This wasn’t allowed previously under NCAA’s rules and regulations.

Governor Newsom and LeBron James obviously hope that other states in America can also adopt this new law and give power to NCAA athletes, something that they haven’t held much of in the long history of the NCAA.

LeBron and Newsom probably also hoped for the least amount of resistance possible from the NCAA, but that doesn’t seem like the case per the NCAA’s official response.

NCAA’s statement regarding the act, taken from the above Tweet

…improvement needs to happen on a national level through NCAA’s rules-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


As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playinf field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide.

If I could translate the NCAA’s statement regarding the act signed by Governor Newsom in my own words, it’d be “Can you guys please stop? You’re making it really hard for us to continue to make all the profits off these student-athletes.”

LeBron James and Frank Vogel were asked more about this act, and had the following to say.

We’ll see how nasty and how complicated this act becomes, as nothing with the NCAA is easy. Stay updated with us for any ongoing developments with this monumental decision by California.

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