Pac-12 'very clearly opposed' to California bill allowing athletes to profit off name and likeness

Larry Scott and the Pac-12 aren't a fan of a bill progressing through the California legislature. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, the Pac-12 is not a fan of a bill advancing through the California legislature that would allow college athletes the ability to profit off their name and likeness.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Wednesday that the conference is “very clearly opposed” to the bill, which was passed 11-0 by California’s Committee on Higher Education earlier in July.

The bill, if passed into law, would allow players to get endorsements and other business deals and has a proposed effective date of Jan. 1, 2023. The NCAA has said that it’s starting to look into name and image rights for student-athletes, though the governing body and its member schools still remain incredibly hesitant to allow players to make money off themselves.

“The NCAA is about to start exploring whether there is a possible system to look at name, image and likeness value for student-athletes that is tethered to education, that is not pay for play and we’ll see where that process goes,” Scott said. “… We support that conversation, but anything that looks like pay-for-play or compensation of student athletes that’s not related to their education is something that would run counter to the fundamental nature of collegiate athletics, amateur student athletes.”

NCAA formally opposes bill

After the NCAA said in June that it could take the drastic step of banning California schools from NCAA championships if the bill became law, the Pac-12’s opposition is wholly expected. The conference isn’t going to go counter to the NCAA.

But the Pac-12 is the conference that would be most impacted by the law. A third of the conference is located in California and Stanford is one of the most successful athletic departments in the country.

California legislators were also expecting the pushback. The chairman of the committee that passed the bill to the general legislature said he didn’t take too kindly to threats from the NCAA and others have noted that the three-plus year waiting period for the bill to take effect was done with the hope of the NCAA making serious reforms in the meantime.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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