By Matt Norlander | CBS Sports
If just over three years from now we look up and see college athletes tweeting about their endorsement deals and making money off their talent, Sen. Nancy Skinner should be the person they thank for making such a reality.
The California state Democrat stands to be the person most responsible for blotting out the NCAA’s longstanding, restrictive amateurism model. She’s got the attention of the NCAA, not to mention the general sports public at large, a significant portion of whom have — with increasing volume — supported a college athlete’s right to earn income off their name, image and likeness.
Weighty news emerged late Monday when California’s State Assembly voted 72-0 in favor of State Bill 206 — the Fair Pay to Play Act — proposed Skinner and Democratic Rep. Steven Bradford. The bill has been making its way through California’s legislature and stands to upend, at the very least, NCAA amateurism restrictions in that state.
When state legislators on both sides of the aisle vote unanimously for a bill, it’s a deafening testimony to the principles of the issue it’s attempting to undo. At this point, all that stands in the way of the bill becoming law is a circle-back rubber-stamp vote in California’s Senate (which could happen Tuesday) and a formal signature from California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who has 30 days to sign it into law or veto the bill back to state legislators.