New CA Pay to Play bill affecting FL right away

Noel Cabrera

Staff Writer


On Sept. 30, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206, otherwise known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, into law.

This new law, which is supposed to take effect in 2023, goes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s long-held philosophy that college athletes should earn a degree, not money, for playing sports.

Although the law applies only to California, it sets up the possibility for new states to adopt the same law or create similar ones that relate to this issue. Leaders in college sports will soon enough have to choose between changing the rules for athletes across the entire country or excluding some of America’s college sports powerhouses from competition.

Not too short after Gov. Newsom signed the bill, Florida State Representative Dionne McGhee filed a similar bill in the Florida House of Representatives directed to preventing the NCAA from  blocking student-athlete compensation for the use of their likeness or name. McGhee’s House Bill would actually go into effect in spring of 2020 which is earlier than the California Fair Pay to Play Act that goes into effect in 2023.

“The NCAA regularly earns more than $1 billion per year, but these student athletes aren’t allowed to accept a bag of groceries, McGhee said in a Sept 20. release announcing his bill.

For many years, the debate over student-athlete compensation has been a stigma for the NCAA. Players for these schools have directly contributed billions of dollars in revenue for universities, television companies and various ads placed in stadiums and on uniforms. This bill, SB 206, is the first that will promise players the opportunity to financially benefit from their stardom.


Florida Representative Dionne McGhee discusses new bill. Photo Courtesy of

“Many of these kids aren’t from families that can afford to spend money, but they’re superstars and household names,” McGhee said in a statement. “That’s not fair. It’s time we allowed these adults the ability to earn a living for themselves and their families while they make a fortune for others and entertain millions of fans.”

Before being signed into law by Gov. Newsom, the NCAA said the California proposal would “erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools unfair advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions.”

NBC broadcast the first televised college football game on Sept. 30, 1939, a 34-7 win Fordham University Rams over Waynesburg College at New York City’s Triborough Stadium. Despite its humble beginnings, college football and its money took off. It is difficult to imagine the NCAA would oppose change to something that has been such a boom to its wallet.

We’re not about to see college football diminish or anything of that measure, but there will be significant developments with the game and all collegiate athletics. The NCAA opposes it, but the public opinion on this matter continues to move away form the NCAA’s corner. Not everybody is on board, but there may not be a lot they can do once state governments begin stepping in and addressing the issue.

The California bill does not enforce schools to pay athletes, but instead allow athletes to make money from endorsement deals and hire agents.

ESPN recently reported that the bill giving college student-athletes power over their name, age and likeness would get signed and passed around April 1, 2020 which would give schools about 90 days to prepare before it goes into effect.