A recent bill introduced to give student-athletes the right to earn compensation has garnered star support.
The bill, SB-206, was recently endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. The superstar took to Twitter to voice his support for the recently amended bill that would allow students to receive compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.
“Everyone is [sic] California – call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly get paid for what they do and the billions they create,” James wrote.
This is in direct contravention with the current NCAA rule banning students from earning financial compensation outside of scholarships. The rule has come under fire as being exploitative, taking blows from court cases, and even receiving sharp criticism from 2020 presidential hopeful Andrew Yang.
The bill was recently amended to give it nuances that track current professional league standards.
It would allow schools in California to retain power over the contracts their students enter into, thereby avoiding certain conflicts that may arise between the student contract and a pre-existing contract the school may hold. For example, a student may desire to contract with Adidas to wear its headbands, but may be blocked by the school from doing so, as the school may already have such a contract with Nike for its student-athletes. To facilitate such a conflict check, the amended language allows for schools to require students to disclose the contracts they enter into.
The bill, if passed, will be a significant change for the careers of student-athletes in California.
California Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, voiced her excitement over the star basketball player’s support.
“Wow!! It’s fantastic to have the support of @KingJames for #SB206, the Fair Pay to Play Act! Let’s do this! California college athletes deserve the right to earn $$ from their hard work and talent!” she wrote on Thursday on Twitter.
Skinner has been a vocal critic of the NCAA policy, lodging critiques that the policy harms students more than it protects amateurism.
“Woah! CBS queried 100 college coaches nationwide – 77% agree with @KingJames: athletes should be able ‘to profit off their name, image, and likeness’. That’s #SB206! Coaches blow a hole in NCAA claim that athletes’ NIL rights will ruin college sports,” she wrote on Twitter.
We will continue to monitor this situation.