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Collegiate athletics look to California bill allowing student-athlete pay

College Sports

STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – A bill that passed Monday in California would allow college athletes to make money on their name, image, or likeness. It sailed through the House and Senate in Sacramento, but still needs the governor’s signature or inaction to become a law in the Golden State.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had not issued comment by press time. It puts California on the road to a showdown with the NCAA.

It’s also being monitored closely by athletic programs across the country — including the Peach State.

Georgia Southern University is a member of the NCAA. Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein says the issue of college athlete pay is complex but is in direct conflict with the cornerstone of amateur athletics.

“How do you award the image and the likeness and the ability to pay these young people, but yet, still keep us an amateur sport? Therein lies the biggest complexity we’re dealing with,” Kleinlein said. “The courts of law are determining one thing, yet the NCAA is trying to keep us, rightfully so, an amateur sport, so that’s kind of the battle we’ve kind of been going through for the last couple years as more and more of these cases have come out.”

The college athlete pay bill in California is not law just yet, although it did pass both the House and Senate there. The governor still has to sign it or it can be vetoed. But if he takes no action in the next 30 days, that bill will become law and take effect January 1, 2023.

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