California bill would require state’s colleges to share revenue with athletes

This bill, really meant to END college sports, just passed the Assembly.  If it becomes law, California colleges and universities will no longer have the funds to equipment and manage competitive sports.  The students will not become richer, because the sports will be forced to close down.

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This will make the amateur college players professionals—whether they want to or not.  The alternative is to go to a college in another State.  Plus, you have the question:  If Arizona state plays UCLA in football, with Arizona have to pay their players?  Why not.

California bill would require state’s colleges to share revenue with athletes

From the same people that brought you the Name, Image and Likeness era of college sports comes the bigger, bolder sequel: Direct Pay for Play.

ZACH BARNETT, Football Scoop,  1/19/23 

From the same people that brought you the Name, Image and Likeness era of college sports comes the bigger, bolder sequel: Direct Pay for Play.

In front of the Rose Bowl on Thursday, California assemblyman Chris Holden, a Democrat from Pasadena and also a former San Diego State basketball player, introduced the College Athlete Protection Act. Among other things, the bill would require the state’s college sports programs to share revenue with their athletes.

The formula would work as follows. Whatever revenue the team generates (say $10 million) minus what that team spends on scholarships ($1 million) would then be split in two between athletes and the athletics department. Of the remaining $9 million, $4.5 would go to the department and the other $4.5 would be paid to athletes through two avenues. Athletes could receive up to $25,000 per year, and the excess funds would be placed into the trust that would be paid to them upon graduation. (The CAPA specifies it would not classify student-athletes as employees.)

Under a different path offered by the CAPA, each college team would have to pass all “new” revenue directly to athletes. For instance, if Stanford’s football team generated $40 million in revenue in 2023 and $45 million in 2024, the extra $5 million would go directly to Cardinal football players. 

Obviously, either path would be largely disruptive to the current college athletics model, where schools spend tremendous sums of money on their athletes from academics to facilities and equipment to coaching to food to travel and everything in between, but any money paid to an athlete must come from a third party in the form of NIL. That’s also the point.

In one prong of the bill, ADs could face a 3-year suspension for cutting scholarships. Programs earning above a $20 million threshold would also be required to provide medical care for all athletes for a 2-year period after they complete their eligibility. 

The CAPA was launched with a coordinated media effort. 

Here’s a statement Holden provided to ESPN

“Through the years, college athlete concerns have been overlooked because they are not in the professional leagues,” Holden said in a statement provided to ESPN. “If colleges are profiting on their players, then these students deserve equitable pathways for their careers whether that is in the professional league or in California’s workforce.”

And here’s one to Sports Illustrated:

“It’s no shock that college athletes experience injuries on the field, on the court or in the game/match,” Holden said in a statement to SI. “What is shocking is the lack of protections helping athletes when they are down, or too afraid to say anything because of the repercussions, loss of scholarships and ultimately loss of a promising career. This ends now, with AB252.”

The California assembly is the same place the NIL era started. The state’s Fair Pay to Play Actsigned in 2019, inspired a number of copycat bills in state houses across the nation, to the point where the NCAA folded its cards, threw its hands up and essentially walked away from the table. That bill, by the way, did not technically come into effect until Jan. 1, 2023 — two and a half weeks ago — but it was so effective that it essentially made itself obsolete. A 2020 Florida bill pushed the ball forward to 2021, and by the summer of ’21 NIL was effectively the law of the land.

However, while the California state assembly cannot be dismissed, its actions do not always become reality. Just last year, the state assembly authored SB-1401, which would have done largely the same things the CAPA is trying to accomplish, but that effort fizzled and has now been spun into the CAPA. 

The CAPA would go into effect in 2024.

While the CAPA works its way through the California state capitol, the National Labor Relations Board is pursuing unfair labor practices against USC, the Pac-12, and the NCAA, arguing that athletes of private institutions are employees. 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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