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NCAA urges California governor not to sign ‘harmful’ Fair Pay to Play Act

The NCAA has continued to push back against proposed legislation in California which is aimed at giving college athletes a chance to earn endorsement money, saying the bill is “harmful” and “unconstitutional”.

California’s state Senate voted on Wednesday to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act after the California State Assembly approved the bill earlier this week. The bill now moves to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, who will have 30 days to decide whether to sign it into law.

The proposed legislation, which would not go into effect until January 1, 2023, would let college athletes make money off of their name, image, or likeness. It would also let college athletes hire agents and stop universities and the NCAA from banning athletes who take the money.

“If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme, it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions,” the NCAA said in a letter to Newsom.

NCAA president Mark Emmert and 21 other members of the organization’s board of governors signed the letter.

Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief operating officer and chief legal officer, said the letter to Newsom “is not intended to be a threat at all” but is “a reflection about the way California is going about this.”