California closer to letting college athletes make money

FILE - In this May 30, 2018, file photo, state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, speaks on the floor of the Senate in Sacramento, Calif. The state Assembly approved Skinner's bill to let college athletes hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, images or likeness. And it would stop the universities and the NCAA from banning athletes that took the money. The bill now goes to the Senate for a final vote.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Assembly has passed legislation to let college athletes make money, setting up a confrontation with the NCAA that could jeopardize the athletic futures of programs at USC, UCLA and Stanford.

The bill would let college athletes hire agents and be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. And it would stop universities and the NCAA from banning athletes who take the money.

The Assembly passed the bill 66-0 on Monday, a few days after the bill got an endorsement from NBA superstar Lebron James, who did not go to college.

Universities oppose the bill, and the NCAA has warned the bill could mean California universities would be ineligible for national championships.

The California Senate must take a final vote on the bill by Friday.

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