A California bill that would allow college athletes to be paid for use of their names and likenesses has support from one of the most outspoken advocates for NCAA reform: UConn football coach Randy Edsall.
“I hope every state in the union passes the bill,” Edsall said Tuesday. “I hope the governor signs it in California, and I know South Carolina is doing something about it. I wish Connecticut would do something about it.”
The California bill has already passed in the state legislature and now awaits approval from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has not announced whether he plans to sign it.
The NCAA, which has steadfastly rejected calls to let players profit from a multi-billion-dollar college sports industry, opposes California’s bill, and has suggested that schools in the state could be barred from NCAA events if it becomes law.
Edsall, who has repeatedly voiced support for allowing college athletes to be paid, said change would have to come at the state level, given the NCAA’s reluctance to relinquish the system it terms “amateurism.”
“The NCAA’s not going to do anything,” Edsall said. “They’ll screw it up if they have to, anyway, just like everything else.”
The California bill would not allow schools to pay athletes directly but would permit players to hire agents and sign endorsement deals.
South Carolina lawmakers have proposed a bill comparable to California’s, and on Monday a New York state senator introduced his own version. At the federal level, North Carolina representative Mark Walker has similarly proposed letting players profit from their likenesses, while Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy has voiced support for the idea as well.