The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has responded to the news this week that California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill enabling college athletes to be paid for their image rights. In its response, the association acknowledged a need for change, but expressed concerns over a piecemeal approach to the issue.
A statement from the NCAA read: “As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rules-making process. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California.”
It continued: “We will consider next steps in California while our members move forward with ongoing efforts to make adjustments to NCAA name, image and likeness rules that are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education.
“As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide.”
The NCAA’s statement came as former Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, currently serving in the United States House of Representatives, revealed that he is set to introduce federal legislation that would allow college athletes to earn money via endorsement deals.
Quoted by ESPN, Gonzalez said: “There are a lot of people who are trying to get a piece of the athlete who do not have their best interest in mind and are out for nefarious means. You can imagine a world where, if there were no guardrails in place, that it could get out of hand pretty quickly. That’s the lane you’re trying to carve. How do you do this to provide necessary and deserved benefits while not inviting a bigger problem alongside it?”