California to let college athletes make money, defying NCAA

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September 12, 2015: A general view of a football on the field is shown during the college football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Georgia Bulldogs, held at Vanderbilt Stadium on the campus of Vanderbilt University. ***Editorial Use Only*** (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California will let college athletes hire agents and make money from endorsements, defying the NCAA and setting up a likely legal challenge that could reshape U.S. amateur sports.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday he has signed a law that allowing athletes at California universities make money from their images, names or likenesses.

The law also bans schools from kicking athletes off the team if they get paid.

California is the first state to pass such a law.

The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023. It does not apply to community colleges and bans athletes from accepting endorsement deals conflicting with their schools’ existing contracts.

The NCAA Board of Governors had asked Newsom to veto the bill, saying it “would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletes.”

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