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California Assembly Passes Athlete Pay Bill

Andy Berg

The California State Assembly on Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow college athletes to profit off their name, image or likeness, according to USA Today.

Scheduled to take affect Jan. 1, 2023, the bill has been harshly criticized by the NCAA. The vote initially posted as 66-0, but later shown as 72-0 with 7 not voting, should now head to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D), where he will have 30 days to sign it.

The bill was amended after it passed the State Senate, which means it will have to return there for a concurrence vote, which could come as early as Tuesday.

Bill sponsor Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D), criticized the NCAA for a letter that association president Mark Emmert sent in June to chairs of two Assembly committees that threatened to ban California schools, four in the Pac-12, from participating in championship games should the bill become law.

"I just want to say, 'NCAA, don't threaten California. Don't threaten us'," Kamlager-Dove said. "Because we have formidable schools. We have formidable alumni. And we have formidable viewership. And we can leverage those things until 2023, when this bill takes effect. I'm sick of being leveraged by the NCAA on the backs of athletes who have the right to their own name and image."

Newsome will likely face heavy lobbying from the NCAA, Pac-12 and university officials from public and private schools throughout the state.

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