California Proposes 50 Percent Revenue Share With College Athletes, Potential Massive Change in College Sports

By Kevin Harrish on May 18, 2022 at 12:42 am
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Update: The bill failed to pass through the Appropriates Committee of the California Senate.

The first state to legalize name, image and likeness payments to players is on the brink of changing college sports again.

California lawmakers are proposing a new bill that, if signed into law, would change the landscape of college sports significantly more than even NIL has, requiring schools to share revenues with the athletes.

SB 1401 would require California schools to share 50% of annual revenues in football and men’s and women’s basketball with the athletes, initiating a new era of “pay for play” — and what college sports leaders fear would be a doomsday scenario for athletic departments that currently use profits from revenue sports to fund their non-revenue sports programs.

The bill has passed through the Senate education and judiciary committees and now sits with the appropriations committee, which will weigh its budgetary impacts before deciding whether it will move onto the Senate floor or die. That announcement will come Thursday at the committee’s annual “suspense hearing” — a fitting name because anyone plugged into the college sports industry should be watching the result closely.

This would mark the first time in history that players would receive payments related to their athletic performance directly from schools.

Whether it passes remains to be seen, but if it does, it would be a massive change to the entire landscape of college sports and would likely force most athletic departments to alter the very way they function and significantly impact the number of sports they are able to sponsor.

View 17 Comments