SHOW ME THE MONEY?
PAYING STUDENT ATHLETES? IT COULD BECOME THE LAW.

In the past few days, the state of California has passed, unanimously, a new bill that will allow college athletes in the state to receive monetary payments and endorsement deals while still being classified as amateurs. With the decision coming down to California's Governor and other states following suit, are we witnessing one of the biggest changes in sport, ever? In this newsletter we are examining the pros and cons of the debate and the background and legal issues surrounding the case.
THE BACKGROUND OF THE CALIFORNIA BILL
"Lawmakers have sent the governor a bill to allow athletes at California colleges to hire agents and sign endorsement deals. It sets up a confrontation with the NCAA that could jeopardize the athletic futures of powerhouse programs like USC, UCLA and Stanford. The bill would allow athletes at California schools to hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. It would stop universities and the NCAA from banning athletes that take the money.The Senate passed the bill 39-0 on Wednesday, a few days after it got an endorsement from NBA superstar LeBron James. It now goes to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has not said whether he'll sign it."

NCAA TO CALIFORNIA: IT'S "UNCONSTIUTIONAL"

"The  NCAA  warned  California  Gov.  Gavin Newsom  on Wednesday that allowing college  athletes  to  profit from their name, image and likeness  would be "unconstitutional" and would upend the balance of college sports. In a letter, the athlete association asked him to reject the passage of a bill that would make it easier for players to make money."

THE LEGAL SIDE OF THE ISSUE

"California Senate Bill 206, the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” was amended again last month, and is making its way through the legislature under sponsorship by Sen. Nancy Skinner-D and Sen. Steven Bradford-D. If passed, the new law would pave the way for college athletes in California to earn compensation—including a stipend or other financial incentive from the college itself—for licensing their name, image, or likeness. The law would also allow athletes to obtain legal representation in connection with their participation in college sports, all while maintaining scholarship eligibility and amateurism under the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) Division I and II eligibility criteria."

LEBRON JAMES, LABOR ACTIVIST SUPPORTS CALIFORNIA

"The idea of athlete autonomy — of a player having more control and power over his or her own career, of not just being an employee of an owner who is not the one out running and dunking — has caught on in the public consciousness in a way it had failed to before," Will Leitch, noted sports journalist and the founder of Deadspin, wrote for  NBC News . "James' move [to Miami] was the instigating act."

LEBRON JAMES' NEW HBO DOCUMENTARY ON THE SUBJECT: THE COLLEGE ATHLETE
FIGHT THE POWER

OPINION PIECE : "How to make student athletes getting paid work, whether directly from the schools they play for or through the endorsements that bills like California’s push for, is complicated. But it’s not hard to see the glaring inequity when the athletes responsible for generating billions of dollars don’t get paid anything, while their coaches get millions. Let’s figure it out."

STUDENT ATHLETES SHOULD GET PAID... ACCORDING TO FELLOW COLLEGE STUDENTS

“With the debate over paying college student-athletes heating up in California and across the country, we wanted to see where students stand on the issue that directly impacts their campuses and classmates,” Terren Klein, CEO of College Pulse tells  CNBC Make It  in a statement. “What we found is that the majority of students are in favor of paying student-athletes and give overwhelming support for allowing student-athletes to profit off their name and image.”

DAVE BAKER'S TAKE
"Now some states are pushing to implement this new pay to play philosophy on colleges and universities. I believe it’s a mistake.
 
These athletes will quickly join the ranks of the professional athletes who will acquire personal agents who will be trying to negotiate deals for their clients to get whatever they can from their school or from multiple schools. The cut rate will sky rocket, as those athletes who do not perform will only last a season or two, and the opportunity to acquire their college education, the true reason most of those athletes are in school, will be eliminated."