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The Fair Pay to Play Act

This is an excerpt from Human Resource Management in Sport and Recreation-4th Edition by Packianathan Chelladurai & Amy Chan Hyung Kim.

Legal Considerations in Human Resource Management

The California Senate Bill 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, passed unanimously and was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2019. The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2023, and it has been considered the way to professionalism for college athletes (Bank 2020). Under the Fair Pay to Play Act, student-athletes enrolled in California universities and colleges will be able to be compensated for the use of their names, images, and likenesses, like professional athletes and non-student-athletes. It is expected that this act will help student-athletes to share the revenues college athletics produces. Though the act will not allow colleges and universities to pay or compensate student-athletes directly for the use of their names, images, or likenesses, it enables student-athletes to capitalize on their fame by hiring a licensed agent or lawyer, if necessary. Nevertheless, there are still ongoing debates on several issues. For instance, the NCAA has challenged the act based on a Dormant Commerce Clause highlighting the absence of uniform standards resulting from different state laws. Even though the NCAA agreed to develop rules related to the use of student-athletes’ names, images, and likenesses, the organization still plans to pursue it in a way consistent with the collegiate model (Bank 2020). As another example, a no-conflict provision of the act states “a student athlete shall not enter into a contract providing compensation to the athlete for use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness if a provision of the contract is in conflict with a provision of the athlete’s team contract” (Senate Bill No. 206, Chapter 383, p. 89). This prohibits student-athletes from signing a contract with one brand if the athlete’s team requires the athlete to wear a different brand under a contract. In a similar vein, as of 2019, the Bylaw 3 to Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter was changed to say that “competitors, team officials and other team personnel who participate in the Olympic Games may allow their person, name, picture or sports performance to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games in accordance with the principles determined by the [International Olympic Committee] Executive Board” (Yi and Borowick 2019).

More Excerpts From Human Resource Management in Sport and Recreation 4th Edition