AUSTIN (KXAN) — If this is really the end of college sports as we know it, at least we have it on video.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act while appearing on LeBron James’ interview show The Shop.
James, who famously skipped college and went straight to the NBA, helped push the legislation that allows college athletes in California to make money off their name, image, and likeness.
NCAA president Mark Emmert told the Indianapolis Star it was, “a different way of converting students into employees.”
Effect of recruiting in Texas
“It will be a game-changer,” said Texas A&M football coach, Jimbo Fisher.
University of Texas football coach Tom Herman was hesitant to comment on specifics of the California law but said he’s “been on record saying we need to get student-athletes more for their name, image, and likeness.”
It’s a logical position.
Unless a court strikes down the California law or the NCAA completely reverses course, coaches outside the Golden State are going to be at a disadvantage in recruiting.
Herman, who is going to make a base salary of $6 million next year, would have to convince a teenager to turn down their own chance at a payday and commit to Texas instead.
Brisket is good, but it’s not that good.
“I’m sure it would have weighed on me,” said former UT receiver Quan Cosby on the prospect of being recruited by a school where he would have been allowed to make money from his name and likeness.
Cosby played professional baseball before coming to UT in 2005. He says even though his family struggled financially, the baseball money kept him from struggling in college.
But most college athletes don’t get a professional payday before enrolling in college. Critics of California’s law say it will lead proxy wars between schools using well-heeled boosters to bid for top athletes.
Cosby admits boosters will “get creative”
Texas could follow California’s lead
The NCAA threatened to ban California schools from all national championships if the bill passed. It didn’t work and now other states are considering similar bills, including Texas.
State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) announced he’s working on a Fair Pay bill. He wants to start a “meaningful conversation” among lawmakers. But the next legislative session isn’t until 2021.
California’s law doesn’t go into effect until 2023. Other states could enact laws before then. The NCAA is also working on creating a system that would allow players to make money off their name, likeness, and image.
Emmert, the NCAA president, told The Star any NCAA policy allowing athletes to be paid would be much narrower than California’s law.
“You simply can’t have a successful athletic association when we don’t have any rules in place.”