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The Sports Report: Gov. Gavin Newsom signs monumental college sports bill

Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom
(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

COLLEGE SPORTS

This is big news, so I’ll get out of the way and let Melody Gutierrez and Nathan Fenno tell you about it:

California became the first state to require major financial reforms in college athletics on Monday after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a measure that allows players to receive endorsement deals, despite the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. calling the move unconstitutional.

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Other states have proposed similar measures to pressure the NCAA, but so far only California is on a collision course with the governing body of college athletics, a billion-dollar organization that has repeatedly opposed efforts to allow players to profit off their sports.

Senate Bill 206 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) prohibits the NCAA from barring a university from competition if its athletes are compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness beginning Jan. 1, 2023. The University of California system, California State University schools, Stanford and USC all opposed the bill, saying they feared it would increase costs to ensure compliance with the law and lead to fines or even expulsion from the NCAA.

Newsom said university presidents and athletic boosters contacted him and urged him to veto the bill but that he felt strongly the state needed to address the racial, gender and economic injustices ingrained in college athletics.

“I have deep reverence, deep respect for the NCAA and college athletics,” Newsom said Monday. “I just think the system has been perverted, and this is fundamentally about rebalancing things. It’s about equity, it’s about fairness, and it’s about time.”

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The NCAA responded less tersely than it had previously, expressing concerns about states creating their own rules for college athletes.

“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 NCAA said in the statement.

Proponents say the bill could be transformative for young athletes, especially for those of color and from poor backgrounds. For too long, they argue, corporations and colleges have been able to excessively profit off these students, even after they have left college and joined professional sports teams.

Supporters said the bill would also create new opportunities for female athletes who have limited professional opportunities to profit off their abilities in college. The bill passed the California Legislature unanimously.

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So what does this mean? College athletes in California will be allowed to supplement what the schools offer them — tuition, room and board, and a stipend for any extra cost of attendance — with compensation stemming from the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). That means they can enter into endorsement contracts with brands as big as Nike and as small as Joe’s Chevrolet dealership; they can be paid to host camps to teach their sport; and they can make money from signing autographs. To accomplish this, they will also be allowed to sign with an agent or hire an attorney to represent them.

If there’s one thing to understand about SB 206, it is this: College athletic departments will not have to spend an extra dime on athlete compensation because of this law.

In fact, the bill goes so far as to explicitly ban the NCAA, conferences and schools from paying players for use of their NILs — not that any of those entities would ever choose to do so.

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“A post-secondary educational institution, athletic association, conference, or other group or organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics shall not provide a prospective student athlete with compensation in relation to the athlete’s name, image or likeness,” SB 206 states.

USC, Stanford, the University of California system and California State University schools all opposed SB 206 as it moved its way through the Senate. Those schools rightfully fear retribution from the NCAA in the form of not being able to participate in championships because of California having a major recruiting advantage. It is likely to end up in the courts whether that would be an antitrust violation by the NCAA.

But SB 206 should not be viewed as an existential threat to California colleges’ ability to play big-time sports. It might be an existential threat to the NCAA, if the organization moves too slowly to adapt.

Remember: Colleges don’t need the NCAA to keep playing sports and making hundreds of millions of dollars. The NCAA needs the colleges, and it particularly needs California’s enormous economy and massive TV market share to help fuel its money-making engine.

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OK, back to your host here. Read the entire article by clicking here. Then come back here............ OK, are you back? Time for a poll. Are you in favor of this bill or against it? Click here to vote.

More reading

LeBron James provides platform for California law demanding NCAA reform

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What’s next for NCAA and college athletics now that SB 206 is law?

Students, parents ponder a future where college athletes can market themselves for money

UCLA’s Chip Kelly on California’s NCAA reform law: ‘It’s the right thing to do’

ANGELS

The other big news Monday was this: the Angels fired manager Brad Ausmus, paving the way for Joe Maddon to become the next manager of the team.

Maddon is interested in the Angels’ position, according to a person who has spoken with him, but the Angels have not been in contact with him. Technically, Maddon remains under contract through the end of October, so the Cubs would have to grant him permission to engage with other teams regarding potential jobs.

There are four other teams — San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals — with managerial openings who could very well sway Maddon to them. It would not be shocking if a few other clubs, such as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, begin managerial searches of their own.

DODGERS NLDS SCHEDULE

All Times Pacific

Game 1: Washington/Milwaukee at Dodgers, Thursday, 5:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., TBS, AM 570

Game 2: Washington/Milwaukee at Dodgers, Friday, 6:30 p.m., TBS, AM 570

Game 3: Dodgers at Washington/Milwaukee, Sunday, TBA, TBS, AM 570

Game 4*: Dodgers at Washington/Milwaukee, Monday, TBA, TBS, AM 570

Game 5*: Washington/Milwaukee at Dodgers, Oct. 9, TBA, TBS, AM 570

*-if necessary.

DODGERS POLL

We asked: “Which team would you like to see the Dodgers face in the NLDS?” After 13,104 votes, here are the results:

Milwaukee Brewers, 62.6%

Washington Nationals, 20.9%

St. Louis Cardinals, 16.5%

YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS MOMENT

What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com and tell me what it is and why and it could appear in a future daily sports newsletter or Morning Briefing.

This moment comes from Mark Patterson of Tucson:

“My brother and I were 10 and 12 respectively in the summer of 1970. Our family had rented a house in Manhattan Beach for a couple of weeks. One morning the two of us were down at the beach when this huge man came walking up to the volleyball courts with a group of other people and they proceeded to set up a couple of nets and began playing. My brother and I were in awe of this giant of a man playing volleyball.

“After spending an hour or so watching the players we ran back to the house to tell our Dad. He was not sure to believe us but followed us down to the beach to see for himself. As soon as he saw the tall man he shrugged his shoulders and told us that was Wilt Chamberlain, a famous basketball player for the Lakers. My brother and I were not fans up to that point but we hung around the players the rest of the week and asked Wilt if we could carry his bag.

We spent the week as his bag men to and from his beautiful Cadillac. We have been die-hard Laker fans ever since with special memories of the 1971-72 championship season and the 33-game win streak.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

No games scheduled.

BORN ON THIS DATE

1945: Baseball player Rod Carew

1953: Runner Grete Waitz

1963: Baseball player Mark McGwire

1966: Soccer player George Weah

1967: Football player Mike Pringle

1967: NHL player Scott Young

DIED ON THIS DATE

1984: Dodger manager Walter Alston, 72

2007: Discus thrower Al Oerter, 71

AND FINALLY

Rod Carew gets his 3,000th hit. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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