The California Assembly has passed legislation to let college athletes make money, setting up a confrontation with the NCAA that could jeopardize the athletic futures of programs at USC, UCLA and Stanford.
The bill would let college athletes hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. And it would stop universities and the NCAA from banning athletes who take the money.
Not to long ago, Larry O’Bannon took on the NCAA sued the NCAA for rights to names, images and likenesses. As it stands now, when they commit to a university, players are required to sign a waiver that relinquishes their right to their own likenesses in every form.
That means they can’t make money off their television appearances, their jerseys, or in any other way. Their universities get any revenues from selling sports paraphernalia or other material related to the players.
The Assembly passed the bill 66-0 on Monday, a few days after the bill got an endorsement from NBA superstar LeBron James, who did not go to college.
Universities oppose the bill, and the NCAA has warned the bill could mean California universities would be ineligible for national championships.
The California Senate must take a final vote on the bill by Friday.
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