California State Assembly passes SB 206, The Fair Pay to Play Act

Monday, September 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO – (September 9, 2019) – The Fair Pay to Play Act, seeking fair compensation for student athletes, won bipartisan support today in the State Assembly on a 72-0 vote. The bill would stop the NCAA from preventing student athletes from receiving payment in connection with the use of the student athlete’s name, image or likeness. SB 206 is authored by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and co-authored by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles).

NCAA rules punish students who monetize their skills as athletes. However, the NCAA and universities generate enormous amounts of revenue using the image, name and skill of these athletes.

While presenting the bill on the Assembly floor, Kamlager-Dove stated, "I just want to say, 'NCAA, don't threaten California. Don't threaten us.' Because we have formidable schools. We have formidable alumni. And we have formidable viewership. And we can leverage those things until 2023, when this bill takes effect. I'm sick of being leveraged by the NCAA on the backs of athletes who have the right to their own name and image."

During the bill’s hearing in the Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media committee, Kamlager-Dove confirmed that even student athletes without scholarships are subject to the NCAA rules against earning revenue from their athletic skill, via sponsorships on Instagram, for example.

Starting in 2023, SB 206 would allow all college athletes in public or private colleges in California to earn money from their name, image or likeness, and prohibits the NCAA from barring California colleges and universities from intercollegiate sports if school athletes monetize their image. College athletes also will be able to hire sport agents to insure fair representation of their interests in deals with colleges and universities.

“The intention of SB 206 is to give athletes the right to make a living off of their hard work,” said Kamlager-Dove. “Many of these athletes come from low-income families and although their names are well-known, many of them struggle to purchase basic necessities. NCAA rules result in absurdities such as members of the swim team not being allowed to teach swimming lessons.”

For more information about this issue or to schedule an interview with Assemblymember Kamlager-Dove, contact Alina Evans at (831) 331-8468.

CONTACT: Alina Evans, Alina.Evans@asm.ca.gov or 916-319-2054

Assembly District 54 consists of Baldwin Hills, Cheviot Hills, the Crenshaw District, Century City, Culver City, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista, Palms, Rancho Park, Westwood and parts of South Los Angeles and Inglewood.