The California assembly has passed legislation to let student athletes make money, setting up a confrontation with the college sports’ governing body, the NCAA, that could jeopardize the athletic futures of programs at sporting powerhouses in the state, such as USC, UCLA and Stanford.
The bill would let college athletes hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. And it would stop universities and the NCAA from banning athletes who take the money. It would not, however, require colleges to pay athletes a salary.
College sports’ make billions of dollars for American universities each year but athletes are not paid for their endeavors. Stanford’s football coach, David Shaw, was paid $4.3m last year.
The assembly passed the bill 66-0 on Monday, a few days after it got an endorsement from NBA superstar LeBron James, who called the law “a game changer” adding that it would allow college athletes to “get paid for what they do and the billions they create”.
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