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How has California’s “Fair Pay to Play” Act changed college sport, if at all?

American Football
Tuesday, 21 July 2020 By John Wolohan

In September 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206 (SB 206), the Fair Pay to Play Act (the Act), into law. [1] The Act, which is not scheduled to become law until January 1, 2023,[2] grants college athletes in California the right to hire agents and be paid for endorsements. As a result, college athletes will for the first time be allowed to financially benefit from their name image and likeness (NIL) to promote products and companies. For a more detailed examination of the Act and the potential impact of the law on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) colleges and universities, and student athletes please see: “Paving the way to professionalism for college athletes –  review of California’s Fair Pay for Play Act[3]”.

Since the Act has been on the books for 10 months now, the purpose of this article is to examine what else, if anything, has changed. In particular, the article will focus on changes at:

  • the NCAA,
  • the federal government, and
  • the state legislatures.

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John Wolohan

John Wolohan

John Wolohan is an Attorney and Professor of Sports Law in the Syracuse University Sport Management program and an Adjunct Professor in the Syracuse University College of Law. In addition to being one of the lead editors of the book "Law for Recreation and Sport Managers" by Cotten and Wolohan, John has been teaching and working in the fields of doping, antitrust, gaming law, and sports media rights for over 25 years.

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