As one of our followers noted on Twitter, the damn is leaking and it won’t be long until it collapses completely.
Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, guarantees student-athletes in the Golden State will have the right to market their name, image, and likeness (NIL) without fear of recrimination from NCAA member institutions. Not long after, Florida joined New York, North Carolina and South Carolina as the latest state to start down the NIL path blazed by California.
As it turns out, Florida wasn’t the only state to join the “Fair Pay to Play” fray after California signed its own historic act as, as detailed by TIME Magazine, Pennsylvania state representative Dan Miller got the ball rolling in his commonwealth with the help of former UCLA college football player and National College Players Association executive director Ramogi Huma.
From the magazine’s report:
Miller consulted with Huma on possible next steps for his state. By 2:20 p.m., Miller and Pennsylvania House member Ed Gainey, a fellow Democrat, circulated a bill, the Pennsylvania “Fair Pay to Play Act,” which will “capitalize on recent efforts in California to help balance the scales and allow our college athletes to sign endorsement deals, earn compensation for their name, image, and likeness, and sign licensing contracts that will allow them to earn money,” the lawmakers wrote in a memo. Miller and Gainey are seeking a bipartisan group of legislatures to sign onto the bill before formally introducing it.
“The California success is sort of the ringing of the bell that we need to tilt this conversation into common-sense reality,” Miller told TIME. “The future is starting in California. It’s time to roll. Let’s get Pennsylvania in play.”
Pennsylvania is the latest to join this growing movement but most certainly won’t be the last as the NCAA looks to stay ahead of the NIL train barreling down the tracks.
A working group was formed by The Association in May to deal with the NIL issue, and the group is expected to release its findings later this month. It’s believed that at least a portion of the recommendations will revolve around federal involvement to help facilitate “a fair and level playing field” across the country instead of what it has described as “a patchwork of different laws from different states.”
Already, as explained by SI.com, Congress is taking steps to address the issue.
Congress and the President could also take action before 2023 that renders the Act and laws like it unnecessary or preempted. Several members of Congress, including both Republicans and Democrats, have either proposed legislation or advocated for federal action with regard to college athletes’ identity rights. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) and Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) are leading the way on Capitol Hill in questioning why college sports so often mimic professional sports—including through lucrative salaries paid to coaches, negotiations of billion-dollar TV contracts and use of pro-quality stadiums and athletic facilities—except with respect to the athletes themselves.