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Jeffrey Kessler Discusses California’s New Fair Pay to Play Act with Sports Business Journal

With the passage of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, many are questioning how the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will respond. The bill will prohibit California colleges and universities from punishing or prohibiting California student athletes from making money with endorsements, autograph signings, or other activities with third parties that monetize on their names, images, and likenesses. 

The bill has garnered national attention and has led to other states introducing similar legislation, forcing the NCAA to tackle the question of how its name, image, and likeness rules can survive a tide of growing opposition. Jeffrey Kessler, co-executive chairman of Winston & Strawn and one of the world’s leading antitrust and sports law lawyers, offers his insight into how states are reacting: “The states are not going to accept incremental progress, they’re looking for meaningful reform… Now the burden is on the NCAA. They will have to convince a court to stop a law… Listen, things are changing. The train has left the station. It’s just a matter of how long it takes to complete the journey.”

The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Read the full Sports Business Journal article for more on how the bill might impact the NCAA (subscription required).