LeBron James played a big role when it comes to college athletes in California being allowed to be paid through endorsements. It won't start until Jan. 1, 2023, but California Gov. Gavin Newson signed the bill on James' show The Shop. On Tuesday, the star Los Angeles Lakers player talked to reporters after practice and explained what the new law means to him.
"Coming from the ... just from me and my mom we didn't have anything," James said, according to Sports Illustrated. "We wouldn't have been able to benefit at all from [a college selling a No. 23 jersey, selling out the arena for his games and being in the NCAA basketball video game]. And the university would have been able to capitalize on everything that I would've been there for that year or two or whatever. I understand what those kids are going through. I feel for those kids who've been going through it for so long, so that's why it was personal to me."
James did not go to college and his decision to go pro turned out to be a good one. And as many valid points he made in that statement, the NCAA and other conferences are not big fans of the bill. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement about the law and he stressed what could happen if it goes nationwide.
"There is meaningful concern related to the inherent consequences that will inevitably arise when individual states unilaterally alter a set of rules that currently apply to student-athletes and universities throughout the country," he said. "... We must also fully address the underlying potential for abuse by external influences and strive for a structure that appropriately ties financial support of student-athletes to their educational pursuits."
When Newsom was on The Shop, he said more states will do the same thing.0comments
“It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation,” Newsom said according to the Los Angeles Times. “And it’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest finally of the athletes on par with the interests of the institution. Now we are rebalancing that power.”
It will be interesting to see what happens next year. The fear could be college sports turning into professional sports which is not something college fans will like. But there is a lot of money in college football and basketball so more states will likely approve the bill down the road.