Paid to Play: Gov. Newsom signs landmark law allowing college athletes to benefit financially

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed a landmark law allowing college athletes in California to get paid for endorsements.

The NCAA currently bans student athletes from making any money while playing college sports.

But according to reports, colleges and universities can make millions promoting their athletes.

While the NCAA has yet to comment on the measure, those we spoke with say it’s about time the athletes shared in the profits.

Football, basketball, baseball and more, there’s a number of high-profile athletes playing at the collegiate level.

“You have this student-athlete who’s beating up their body and every single time they take a rep they are betting on the opportunity that they’ll have the opportunity to do it again,” says Chris Milton, who’s son plays football for Buchanan High School.

While many receive scholarships in return for taking part in sports, none are seeing a dime when it comes to their names, images or likeness being used to promote and make money for their schools and the sport they play.

But in the next two years that will all change, thanks to the Fair Pay to Play Act signed by Gov. Newsom, allowing athletes to cash in on their names.

Milton, a father of two football players, one in college, the other is Buchanan High School football standout Kendall Milton, says even though this does not affect his sons immediately, he believes it’s about time athletes reap the benefits.

“I think it’s only right that they have the opportunity, it’s not just about their likeness but it’s their name, that their name allows to be monetized because somebody is making money off it right now, and it’s only fair that they have the opportunity to do it as well,” Milton expressed.

But for former Fresno State fullback and retired San Diego Chargers player Lorenzo Neal, he has mixed emotions about this measure. Neal worries it’s opening up Pandora box.

“I do believe that something needs to be done, I think maybe they put a cap on it, maybe go to a fund, maybe get it at the age of 25, let these guys and young women capitalize on their images, I have no problem on that but I do believe there should be something in place to help educate, help inform because if you don’t, I think there could be even more problems,” Neal says.

Terry Tumey, Fresno State Athletic Director, believes more details need to be ironed out.

“If we could have some partnership between ourselves and the State of California in terms of how we get it done, which we have until 2023 to figure out, I think we’ll find a solution that fits everyone’s needs,” Tumey expressed.

The Act is expected to be implemented in January 2023.

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