Even before the state of California passed a law that could disrupt the equilibrium of college athletics by allowing student-athletes to earn money based on their names, images and likenesses, one prominent athletic director spoke out in opposition of the change, saying that California’s schools would not “be members of the NCAA” under such legislation.
Gene Smith, athletic director at Ohio State and co-chair of the NCAA-appointed working group that’s studying the issue of name, image and likeness, told USA Today that California’s legislation — which passed the state Legislature unanimously and was reportedly signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom — would likely preclude him from scheduling games against schools in California after its effective date of Jan. 1, 2023.
“If the California law goes into effect in ‘23, and let’s say the NCAA legislation, however it emerges, doesn’t quite meet what California wants it to be and they continue to hold that law, who’s going to play (California schools?)” Smith said last week. “We’re certainly not. They won’t be members of the NCAA. I think that’s going to be the problem.”
Proponents of the bill have said that part of why they baked in the 2023 effective date is to provide the NCAA time to update its own policies. Meanwhile, the NCAA working group is slated to provide a report on the name, image and likeness issue to the body’s Board of Governors in October.
“There is a simple fix for (the NCAA’s member schools). They can do the right thing and provide the right to name, image and likeness to all student-athletes,” said California State Sen. Nancy Skinner, who authored the legislation.
Despite the delayed effective date, the bill will likely result in seismic changes almost immediately, as recruiting takes place years in advance of an athlete actually arriving on campus and scheduling is likewise done years out.
Gov. Newsom signed the bill in a video released Monday.