Big 12 News

Bob Bowlsby: California’s Fair Pay to Play Act ‘Undermines’ College Sports

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Basketball Media Day

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby made it clear on Monday he’s not a fan of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act being signed into law.

For background, the new law allows college athletes to earn compensation based on their name, image and likeness. LeBron James was one of the many star athletes to rave about the bill being signed into law.

James wrote on Twitter: “You the man Governor Gav! Appreciate you as so many many more as well!”

In a statement to the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, Bowlsby said, “This bill creates great instability for the intercollegiate athletics programs at universities in California. The schools in our conference and those throughout the United States seek national recruiting and national competitive environment that can only be accomplished with fair and uniform rules and policies. The passage of SB206 will negatively impact the universities in California and will undermine the unique American collegiate model that has been an enormous source of opportunity for millions of young student-athletes and many millions of fans.”


The NCAA responded as well, saying it would continue to make adjustments to its rules that “are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education.” The organization added, “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,” the NCAA said in a statement. “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 law would not go into effect until January 2023.

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