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UA reacts to new California law that will allow college student-athletes to be paid

TUCSON – California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill 206, also known as the “Fair Pay to Play” Act, into law. This clears the way for college players to be paid from endorsement deals.

Right now, NCAA rules strictly prohibit athletes from profiting in any way from their sport. But this new law will allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

The NCAA released this statement, that reads in part.

“… The NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rules-making process.”

Glenn Parker played football for the University of Arizona. He went on to play for the NFL and five Super Bowls.

“The NCAA was founded on the expressed purpose of let’s not pay athletes,” said Parker. “It wasn’t hey we are amateurs and let’s stay that way. It was we don’t want to pay these people or it will get too expensive down the road.”

News 4 Tucson reached out to the university. Dave Heeke, vice president and director of athletics sent the following statement.

“We recognize that college athletics is an ever-changing landscape, and I look forward to the discussions and recommendations of the NCAA Working Group of athletic directors and administrators regarding future changes. I will continue to work with the NCAA, the Pac-12 Conference and other industry leaders on advancing the well-being of college student-athletes. I have been vocal about my support of the college model of athletics, which allows young men and women the opportunity to pursue an education while participating in their sport.”

The PAC-12 has shared a statement about the new California law.

“Our universities have led important student-athlete reform over the past years, but firmly believe all reforms must treat our student-athletes as students pursuing an education…”

Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Lebron James fully supports this new law and did not even go to college. He said this law is “something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it.”

The law will go into effect in the year 2023 and court challenges are expected.

This law only affects state schools in California. It is unclear what is in the future for the rest of the country.

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Allie Potter

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