California Enacts Legislation to Permit Athletes to Accept Endorsements

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Finally, there is a sports story that does not involve illegal substances, bad off-field behaviour by pouting superstars or blatant designs by the AFL to hand Richmond a premiership.

No, this story focuses on the true meaning of sports.

Money.

The great state of California has enacted legislation that would permit collegiate athletes or cash cows as the NCAA thinks of them, to accept endorsement deals from sponsors willing to pay to use the names and likenesses of the players to promote sponsors’ products.

While we do not need college kids to tell us which brand of $200 athletic shoes we should wear, we could use a little help from time to time selecting the right car insurance company or cellular provider.

The legislation was met with the expected apoplexy as the NCAA and its member schools once again have the opportunity to point out that their athletic recruits receive a valuable education in return for those recruits filling the coffers of athletic departments with billions of dollars.

Try telling that to LeBron James, or any of the others who have skipped college to rake in millions while the raking was good.

Top U.S. recruits at big schools such as the University of Alabama do receive free degrees. They take courses such as How to Say Would You Like Fries with That 101,” so they have a solid foundation on which to rely when they blow an ACL and learn that their dreams of professional sports might not come true.

The true fear of the NCAA and its members was exposed when it was pointed out that top prospects would select California schools at the expense of the colleges and universities of other states.

It sounds as though those young athletes are already in possession of all the knowledge they need when it comes time to chart a course through the world of sports.

States other than California may be forced to follow California’s example and attempt to replace the NCAA’s unique brand of socialism with capitalism in order to remain competitive, but it will be interesting to observe the battle of lawyers that is bound to ensue.

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