Pending California legislation that would allow college athletes to be compensated for the use of their own name, image or likeness has drawn the ire of the NCAA.
NCAA president Mark Emmert wrote in a letter to the chairs of two State Assembly committees that if the bill becomes law, California schools should be prohibited from participating in NCAA championships. Such a ban would affect 23 NCAA Division I schools, four of which are in the Pac 12.
After passing the Senate last month, the bill is now scheduled for a Tuesday vote by the Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee. Should it pass there, it will advance to the High Education Committee.
In his letter, Emmert asked the Assembly to consider postponing its consideration of the bill, according to USA Today.
“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” Emmert wrote in his letter to the committee chairs.
“Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist."
While the bill wouldn’t take effect until 2023, Emmert says that passage now will only create confusion among student-athletes.
Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) argued that the bill could hurt student-athletes in California more than it will help them. Stone contends that such a bill should not be considered at the state level.
“[The bill would place schools’ in direct conflict with NCAA policies on compensation. … This bill could result in our students and campuses being unable to participate in intercollegiate sports. It seems like it’s a bill that would be more appropriate to entertain at the federal level.”