Nick Saban’s reaction to the Fair Pay to Play Act: None
On Monday of this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the Fair Pay to Play Act which will allow for college athletes in the State of California to use their image and likeness for collecting endorsement money. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
“Colleges reap billions from student-athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model. I just signed the Fair Play to Pay Act with LeBron James -- making CA the first state to allow student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness,” said Newsom via twitter in late September.
On Wednesday, during the SEC's weekly teleconference, Saban was asked about his reaction to the new California bill.
“I don’t really have much of a reaction to it,” said Saban.
“I really honestly don’t know enough about the details. I don’t know the details of what the NCAA and the leadership will do in our conference at the university and the SEC office. I trust that these people will navigate through this like other issues and things that we’ve had in the past. It’s not really ... I’m kind of worried about our team and how we get our team ready to play and all that. I’m not really that concerned about it or know that much about it actually.”
Here is an excerpt from legislature.ca.gov on Senate Bill No. 206
i - This bill would prohibit California postsecondary educational institutions except community colleges, and every athletic association, conference, or other group or organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics, from providing a prospective intercollegiate student athlete with compensation in relation to the athlete’s name, image, or likeness, or preventing a student participating in intercollegiate athletics from earning compensation as a result of the use of the student’s name, image, or likeness or obtaining professional representation relating to the student’s participation in intercollegiate athletics.
The bill also would prohibit an athletic association, conference, or other group or organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics from preventing a postsecondary educational institution other than a community college from participating in intercollegiate athletics as a result of the compensation of a student athlete for the use of the student’s name, image, or likeness. The bill would require professional representation obtained by student athletes to be from persons licensed by the state.
The bill would specify that athlete agents shall comply with federal law in their relationships with student athletes. The bill would prohibit the revocation of a student’s scholarship as a result of earning compensation or obtaining legal representation as authorized under these provisions. The bill would prohibit a student athlete from entering into a contract providing compensation to the athlete for use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness if a provision of the contract is in conflict with a provision of the athlete’s team contract.
The bill would prohibit a team contract from preventing a student athlete from using the athlete’s name, image, or likeness for a commercial purpose when the athlete is not engaged in official team activities, as specified.
Nick Saban was also asked about players getting paid for endorsements and if it would affect chemistry on the team.
“It’s a hypothetical question, which I have enough questions to answer on a daily basis that are real things that need to be addressed right now relative to our season, our team, what we’re trying to do to get better. I haven’t really thought about that, nor do I care to comment on it.”