Radical CA bill on college sports fails to clear Senate committee

A California Senate bill that would have radically changed the economics of college sports in California failed to pass through the Appropriations committee on Thursday — a major legislative victory for Division I universities in the state.

The development means SB-1401, the “College Athlete Race and Gender Equity Act,” is dead for the Senate’s current legislative session.

Sponsored by Senator Steven Bradford, the bill had immense support from the National College Players Association (NCPA), an athlete-advocacy group led by former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma.

The NCPA, which is backed by the US Steelworkers, could push forward new legislation in 2023 with the same goal:

To give football and basketball players a slice of the cash they help generate.

On its Twitter feedthe NCPA stated:

“Unfortunately CA SB 1401, which would pay college athletes w degree completion funds, was held in committee & won’t go forward. The legislative session isn’t over however, we’ll keep you updated. Thanks to @SteveBradford for authoring this bill and fighting for our rights!”

Had SB-1401 become law, it would have created a revenue-sharing arrangement between California universities and athletes in the money-making sports.

Millions of dollars typically used to support athletic department operations instead would have been moved into “degree completion funds” for the players.

Those requirements would have placed California schools at a significant financial disadvantage, created Title IX complications and threatened the long-term viability of Olympic sports.

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