California bill could allow student-athletes to accept sponsorship

A proposed bill could allow student-athletes to accept sponsorship while still competing in collegiate athletics.

According to California Senate Bill 206 , also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, California postsecondary educational institutions, athletic associations, conferences or other groups/ organizations with authority over student-athletes would be prohibited from preventing a student-athlete from “earning compensation as a result of the use of the student’s name, image, or likeness.”

These institutions would also be prohibited from preventing athletes from participating in athletics or revoking an athlete’s scholarship if they accept compensation.

The Fair Pay to Play Act would apply to athletic programs at 4-year private universities or campuses of the University of California or the California State University that receive, as an average, $10,000,000 or more in annual revenue derived from media rights for intercollegiate athletics.

In order to accept compensation, student-athletes would be required to obtain professional representation by a person licensed by the state. These agents would have to comply with federal law in their relationships with the student-athletes.

The institutions themselves would not be able to offer prospective student-athletes compensation for attending the institution.

The bill was passed by the California Senate. It will now travel to the California State Assembly. If passed by the Assembly and approved by Governor Newsom, the changes would take effect January 1, 2023.