Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation allowing college athletes to be paid for endorsements, use their image, and hire agents. This is a major development and change because the NCAA has always insisted that college athletes are amateurs who shouldn’t be profiting financially from their talents; meanwhile, their coaches and departments are getting paid millions of dollars a year from TV contacts and brand sponsorship’s.
“Billions and billions of dollars — 14-plus billion dollars — goes to these universities, goes to these colleges, billion-plus revenue to the NCAA themselves,” Newsom said.
Since this change, the NCAA has urged Newsom to veto the bill, and stated that a reform should only come through the “NCAA’s rules-making process.”
However, Tim Nevius, executive director of the College Athlete Advocacy Initiative, a legal support for athletes in disputes with the NCAA, insists that the NCAA’s stance is intended to maintain power and money.
In California there are almost 60 colleges that compete in NCAA sports. These colleges are divided into three tiers: Division one (top tier), which includes 23 schools, four of which are members of the Pacific-12 conference.
Although it is impossible to predict how the dispute will pan out by the time the law goes into effect in 2023, coaches and administrators are now asking where the billions of dollars that brands are spending on college sports will move to.