On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newson signed the state’s “Pay to Play” bill into law. The heart of the law will allow college athletes to receive endorsements starting in 2023.
The law goes contrary to the heart of the NCAA who have fought tooth and nail against athletes making even one cent when they are on a college team.
This law bans California’s universities from punishing those students and clearly this is just the beginning of what is likely to be a protracted battle over the next four years.
Newsom’s reasoning in signing the law, sounds like common sense as he said, “This is the beginning of a national movement – one that transcends geographic and partisan lines. Collegiate student athletes put everything on the line – their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives to compete.
Colleges reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model – one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted.”
Now the question is, how might this new law affect the emerging legal sports betting economy that is currently spreading across the United States?
That very much remains to be seen, but one thing it might do is force the NCAA to rethink its stance that bans athletes getting paid and it may also influence how they view betting on college sports.
The NCAA is also very much against betting on college sports, stating that “The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the welfare of student athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community”
But, if as expected other states start to follow California’s model and pass their own pay to play laws, the NCAA may need to come around on athletes’ ability to receive endorsements.
That softening may also spill over into relaxing their stance against sports betting, providing more opportunities for each state to accept and offer more betting opportunities without fear of consequences.
That might especially be true if some of those student endorsements come from betting companies such as DraftKings or FanDuel.
The whole amateur system that has seemed so rock solid for so long may finally be crumbling to the ground as the hypocrisy of the NCAA is finally exposed for all to see.
As Kenny White, Las Vegas oddsmaker says if the NCAA is really worried about the integrity of the game then allowing endorsements makes too much sense, “Amateur athletes are at the highest risk because there are no paychecks. They don’t make any money”.
Then there’s LeBron James who shared just what those star athletes are facing when he said,” Part of the reason I went to the NBA (and skipped college) was to get my mom out of the situation she was in. I couldn’t have done that in college with the current rules in place. This bill will help student athletes who are in a similar situation.”
And the more regular it is that those athletes can get paid real money while staying in school, the less the risk that bribes or integrity issues for those student athletes becomes.