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California Senate Approves Fair Pay to Play Act

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Pay to play is the much-talked-about concept to compensate student-athletes so they can support themselves and their families.

On Wednesday, the California Senate passed a bill that would allow 58 NCAA schools to do just that. But at what cost?

SB 206 now goes to the Governors desk. If he does not sign it in 30 days, it becomes law and both sides are conducting full-court press to sway him.

"For the NCAA to continue to lobby against this, they are begging for indentured servitude to keep going," said one of the pundits on ESPN. It was all the talk today in the Sports world. Pay to play has long been talked about as a way to encourage student-athletes to finish school and support themselves, by giving them a piece of the billions brought in by the NCAA.

ALSO: NCAA Urges Gov. Newsom Not To Sign 'Fair Pay' Bill Championed By LeBron James

Sac State Senior, Nathaniel Arana, said: " I think having them being compensated is only fair."

Until now that was forbidden but newly passed Senate Bill 206 would give student-athletes the same rights all Californians have the right to their own name and likeness.

"Any California student has those rights until they sign that NCAA waiver," said Sen. Nancy Skinner.

Senator Nancy Skinner co-authored the bill which is designed to level the playing field for student-athletes, more than 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line.

"For example, a swimmer can teach swimming lessons or a gymnast can monetize her YouTube videos, which now they are completely forbidden from doing," said Skinner.

"The NCAA makes a lot of money from them; they are using their likeness. Why can't they use their own likeness?" said Gunner Lissick, a Sac State Junior.

Lissick, a former student-athlete, says it was hard to find a job given his schedule. The pay to pay law will open doors and alleviate financial stress. Other students agree.

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"If you could alleviate that stress it would enhance them in other areas of their life," said Nathaniel Arana.

The NCAA is swinging back -writing a letter to governor Newsom that said SB 206 "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletes and because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions"

"It is a hollow threat because it would be a violation of antitrust law for NCAA to pick one set of schools due to a state law and kick them out," said Skinner.

This would impact 24,000 students across three divisions in the NCAA.

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