Making Money in College Athletics has many supporters, many opponents

How Student Athlete “Likeness Bill” SB 206 Is seen from both sides
California State Governor Gavin Newsom recently put forth a bill which would allow student athletes to monetize their name and image while in college sports programs. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Javier Velez
El Observador

California Senate passed Senate Bill 206 on September 11th which will allow students to make money based on their name and likeness.

California Assembly unanimously, 72-0, voted to pass SB 206 that allowed California Senate to vote in favor of SB 206, 31-4 according to the LA Times.

Governor Gavin Newsom has 30 days from September 11th to sign or veto the bill. If a decision has not been made after 30 days, the bill will become a part of the law. If SB 206 is approved, the law will come into effect January 1st, 2023.

“SB 206 doesn’t force colleges to pay; it simply opens the door for athletes to earn money just like any other student, whether it’s monetizing YouTube videos, teaching swim lessons or accepting sponsorship,” said State Senator, Nancy Skinner in a statement the same day.

The NCAA’s board of governors sent the warning in a letter (posted on their own website) the following Wednesday, urging the state to reconsider, “this harmful and, we believe, unconstitutional bill.”

On the other hand, sophomore Football Defensive End Cade Hall says, “I do not agree that it is unconstitutional. I think that amateur athletes do have the right to make money off their own name through outside avenues; if other people take an interest in that athlete, then I think they should be able to take advantage.”

SB 206 was introduced by state Sens. Nancy Skinner and Steven Bradford.

The NCAA said it opposes the bill as it would create an imbalance within the sport. The bill gives the 58 NCAA schools in California an unfair recruiting advantage while making them ineligible to compete in NCAA competitions, the governors said.

NCAA President Mark Emmert and 21 other members of the organization’s board of governors signed the letter.

“I do not feel like it is an unfair advantage. I think that schools are going to recruit how they are going to recruit and [athletes] are going to make their decisions regardless if there is a law in place saying they are going to make money,” said Sophomore Football Defensive End, Cade Hall.

NBA super-star LeBron James did not hide his stance on the bill as he tweeted, “College athletes can responsibly get paid for what they do and the billions they create.”

James did not attend a college university as he was drafted into the NBA after graduating from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Assistant Coach at SJSU women’s soccer, Tina Estrada, believes that the incentive could be a distraction but also believes that athletes should be able to perform regardless of distractions.

“I think there is always distractions for players, this would be another added distraction. At the end of the day, what every coach hopes for is whatever distractions every athlete has outside of soccer, they just manage it in the proper way.”

San Jose State University gave female athletes $10,171 in sports related student aid according to

“This sport, especially in women’s sports, this would help us get more recognition,” said Amarikwa. “I think the [recognition] has improved but there is always room for improvement.”

NCAA also included in their letter to Newsom; “Right now, nearly half a million student-athletes in all 50 states compete under the same rules. This bill would remove that essential element of fairness and equal treatment that forms the bedrock of college sports.”