How This New California Law is Changing the Game for Student Athletes


On Sept. 30, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsome signed off on Senate Bill 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act.

The Fair Pay to Play Act is a monumental bill that permits college athletes in the state of California to be be paid for the commercial use of their names, images and likeness. The act also makes it legal for college athletese to hire agends and be paid for endorsements. This legislation bypasses a former NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) ban on players receiving any compensation aside from scholarships. NCAA regulations have always prohibited student-athletes from executing any endorsement deals or accepting payment for the use of their images.

In the past, the NCAA has even gone as far as threatening to prohibit colleges from participating in tournaments should they allow players to make money, and many universities have protested against this action too. Now, the tides are turning. Though the Fair Pay to Play Act is the first and only of its kind, many believe that this legislation could produce a ripple effect, causing more states to join in on fairly compensating student-athletes. 


What Fair Pay To Play Can Do

Take former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi for example. Katelyn has numerous broken records and accomplished great feats throughout her collegiate career. Most notably, in January of this year, Katelyn went viral for a floor routine that earned her a perfect score from judges, garnered tens of millions of views online and landed her a spot on national television shows like Good Morning America.

Despite these incredible gains, Katelyn wasn't able to profit from her success due to former NCAA regulations. Recently, Katelyn took to the New York Times to state her case for the Fair Pay to Play act, saying: "Along with this came a lot of attention and opportunities, but I couldn’t capitalize on them. I was handcuffed by the NCAA rules that prevented me from deriving any benefit from my own name and likeness, regardless of the fact that after my final meet, I had no pro league to join.”

As a key proponent for the act, she went on to say: “The NCAA is a billion-dollar industry built on the backs of college athletes. How different would things be for me had I been able to use my image and name my last year of school in order to promote the things I want to further my future? I want to make sure the next person doesn't have to wonder.”


#SweatSisters Chime In 

In light of the big news, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT asked two of our #SweatSisters to share their thoughts on the new legislation. Here's what they had to say:

Kierra King, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Ambassador: "As a college athlete, I believe that college athletes should be paid. For the majority of us, our universities make money off our success and we receive nothing. This new Fair Pay to Play law is great because you have these high caliber athletes who have a shot in the league generation millions of dollars to their schools. We put our bodies at risk everyday for the school and receive no compensation. Also, college sports are very demanding and many athletes don’t have time to work."

Renee Montgomery, WNBA player for the Atlanta Dream: “I love it! We are moving in the right direction with compensating athletes. And speaking of that, I definitely think college athletes should get paid. Universities make a lot of money off of the student-athletes likeness so why shouldn't the student-athlete benefit? I understand it’s always been done a certain way, but it’s time for a change."

What are your thoughts on this new act, #SweatSisters? Sound off in the comments below! 
Olivia Marjorae is a rising junior at the illustrious Xavier University of Louisiana, studying Political Science with aspirations of becoming an Attorney. Olivia has a passion for journalism and creative writing, reading, and poetry. Olivia is a former member of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT CAU, and seeks to promote sisterhood and empowerment amongst other young women in all that she does.