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How LeBron and California Governor Newsom changed college sports forever

Governor of California Gavin Newsom joined HBO’s “The Shop” this past Friday to officially sign into law California’s ‘Fair Pay to Play Act‘ (SB206), which gives college athletes the ability to be paid fairly for use of their name and likeness in the state of California. This is a groundbreaking piece of legislation.

For years, everyone was able to profit off of the college athlete’s blood, sweat, and tears, except for the student-athletes themselves. This law changes that, at least in California for now, and Newsom coming on “The Shop” to officially sign the paper is a way to broadcast the news and a way for LeBron James and Maverick Carter to echo their UNINTERRUPTED slogan, “More Than An Athlete.”

“This is the number one reason why we’ve created this platform,” James gleefully declares. “To be able to have moments like this…”

This law, of course, does not mean universities or the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) are going to pay students. The “dictatorship” as Draymond Green calls the NCAA, would never dream of it. This merely allows top athletes to legally earn endorsement money.

If it is surprising that college athletes couldn’t do this before, you’re not in the minority. All other college students in other fields could have signed and earned money outside of their school; athletes were the only ones prohibited. And while other professions rely on the progress and maintenance of one’s mind over time, sports rely on one’s body.

An athlete’s window for making money is far shorter than another profession’s is, and for up to four years the NCAA prevents them from making a cent. Governor Newsom’s groundbreaking bill should start to change the tide.


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@gavinnewsom just sent a major message to the NCAA 💯#SB206

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“They’re a little panicked, ’cause they recognize they’re vulnerable. People are hitting this not just in California, but all across the country because the gig’s up. Billions of billions of dollars, 14 plus billion dollars goes to these universities, goes to these colleges, a billion-plus revenue to the NCAA themselves, and the actual product, the folks that are putting their lives on the lines, putting everything on the line, are getting nothing,” said Newsom on Friday.

Joining James, Carter, and Newsom on “The Shop” were the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Nancy Skinner, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and agent Rich Paul.

Starting on June. 1, 2023, the ‘Fair Pay to Play’ Act will allow all student-athletes enrolled in public and private four-year colleges and universities in California to earn money for their name, image, or likeness. This bill will also allow student-athletes to hire sports agents, and not lose their scholarships if they receive income for their work.


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THIS 🗣🗣🗣 #MoreThanAnAthlete

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While California is only one of 50 states, it is a big one and one that holds a lot of power and distinction. California is often the first state to start progressive legislation, and other states then follow suit.

The main argument against this bill passing is that it will destroy amateurism, that it will put young people on a pedestal because of the money they will receive, and will, therefore, destroy college sports. Governor Newsom mentioned on this episode of “The Shop” how college presidents and NCAA officials called him asking him why he was destroying college sports, why he was destroying the purity of amateurism.

As Newsom then notes, not once did they mention the needs of the student-athletes. LeBron even mentioned the main reason he went to the NBA right away was to receive money immediately to help his mom out. What about all the popular student-athletes that are selling out arenas, but not earning a cent, and watching their families still live in poverty? How is that fair?

And even if the “purity of amateurism” will be affected by this law, how is it fair for college and NCAA officials to decide what is best for student-athletes? It should be their money, and in 2023 it will be their money. This bill is revolutionary for college sports, college in general, and the entire country as a whole.

When asked what the signing of this bill is going to do, Newsom declared, “It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation, and it’s going to change college sports for the better, by having now the interests, finally, of the athletes, on par with the interests of the institutions. Now we’re rebalancing that power arrangement.”

FBI probe indicates NCAA college players are getting paid. No shit.

The FBI probe into the inner-workings of the NCAA has ensnared the sports agency ASM Sports, high profile NBA and NCAA players, players’ families, and universities including Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Texas, USC, and plenty others, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.

ASM Sports, former agent Andy Miller, and his associate Charles Dawkins are the focus of this particular investigation with myriad payments or “loans” to amateur players to get them to sign with the agency.

A brief list of notable players, according to Yahoo:

Dennis Smith, who would go on to play at North Carolina State in 2016-17, received $43,500 according to the documents. Another document headed “Pina,” for ASM agent Stephen Pina, says Smith received a total of $73,500 in loans, and includes notes about “options to recoup the money” when Smith did not sign with ASM.

Isaiah Whitehead, at the time a freshman at Seton Hall, received $26,136 according to the documents. The “Pina” document says Whitehead received $37,657 and was “setting up payment plan.” Whitehead signed with ASM but later left the agency for Roc Nation.

A listing that refers to “BAM” for $12,000 is later identified in the documents as Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, who would go on to play at Kentucky in 2016-17. He did not sign with ASM. There’s a later reference to Adebayo that says he received $36,500. “Bad loan,” reads the document.

Markelle Fultz, who would go on to play at Washington and become the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, received $10,000 according to the documents. He did not sign with ASM.

Former Utah star Kyle Kuzma received at least $9,500 while in school, according to the documents.

Apples Jones, the mother of former Kansas player Josh Jackson, received $2,700 according to documents.

Current players still in college include Michigan State star Miles Bridges, Duke’s Wendell Carter, and Alabama’s Collin Sexton.

NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement this morning saying this has “no place in college sports” or whatever,

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules.”

Sure, Mark.


As for why the hell the FBI is investigating college sports players getting money from agents, that’s all still very unclear. I, for one, am so glad that the FBI is concerning themselves with payments of a couple thousand (hundreds, in some cases) of dollars to high schoolers’ mothers. THIS MUST STOP!!!!

Dawkins’ lawyer Steve Haney spoke to Yahoo Sports about the ridiculousness of the situation, which includes arrests for Dawkins and numerous assistant coaches:

“These are college eligibility issues and agent licensing issues, not matters of national security that deserve this level of FBI involvement and taxpayer resources… has reached a degree of being ridiculous.”

Yahoo reported on the arrests so far:

“With an ongoing investigation, the chance looms there could be more charges and arrests. So far, four former assistant college basketball coaches have been arrested: Tony Bland of USC, Chuck Person of Auburn, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State. Six other assorted participants in the basketball underworld also have been arrested: Dawkins; former sneaker executives James Gatto and Merl Code; financial adviser Munish Sood; clothier and former referee Rashan Michel; and Florida AAU coach Brad Augustine. Charges against Augustine earlier were dismissed without explanation.”

None of this is especially interesting or notable, besides the fact that the FBI cares about this. The NCAA is utter trash, profiting off the labor of young 18-21 year olds and claiming broke when people suggest they should share some of that profit with the ‘student athletes.’

The most confusing part about this entire ordeal is choosing whether the NCAA or the FBI is dumber. It’s a tough call.

Pay all the players.