With the California Fair Pay to Play Act awaiting a decision from Governor Gavin Newsom, NCAA president Mark Emmert said he is dealing with the “single biggest issue” he has faced on the job, according to CBS Sports.
This bill, SB 206, would give college athletes in California the right to make money off their name, image and likeness.
Emmert, who spoke with a group of NCAA Div. 1 athletic directors Tuesday, called this an “existential threat” against the collegiate model.
Among NCAA fears is that the bill would give California schools an unfair recruiting advantage. In a letter to Newsom on Sept. 11 after the bill passed through the State Senate, the NCAA Board of Governors said SB 206, “because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions.”
That appeared to be a threat that California collegiate sports teams would be barred from playoffs and championship games, but Emmert scoffed at that, according to CBS Sports.
“This whole notion that our letter was threatening is ridiculous,” Emmert said. “We simply said, ‘Here is one of the problems that will exist.’ That wasn’t a threat. It was, ‘Look, folks, we can’t have one state operating different rules than the others.'”
Emmert told CBS Sports he thinks people are overestimating the amount of money that players will make.
“My personal view is folks in general think that every student-athlete is going to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. “One or two will be making some significant amount of money. Nobody else will.”
If Newsom signs the bill, it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.