States in the Mountain West could follow California’s lead in allowing student-athletes to seek sponsorships and other business deals while in college.
Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, the first of its kind, which says colleges in California can’t punish athletes for profiting from the use of their names, images, or likeness. The measure goes into effect in 2023.
“We all have the ability to, through most of society, control our images and be able to make value and money off it,” said Jon Solomon of the nonpartisan think tank Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program. “College sports is the one place, a rare place, where that’s not allowed.”
Solomon says the NCAA, which oversees collegiate sports, could still adopt new rules to allow student athletes these types of paid endorsements. Or it could choose to expel schools in states that choose to pass similar laws to California’s.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.