Two days after California became the first state to allow student-athletes at state schools to profit from their name and likeness, Ohio could be moving to do the same.
Ohio will consider a law allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals and profit from their image and likeness, Ben Garbarek of WSYX ABC 6 reports. The details are not yet available, but Garbarek reports that the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus is working on a proposal similar to California's Fair Play Act, which governor Gavin Newsom officially signed on Monday.
Both Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and university president Michael Drake have expressed concern with the California law, which will go into action in 2023.
“So we have the collegiate model of sport and the professional model of sport, and I think that my colleagues and I are devoted to keeping those appropriately distinct, and protecting those things which make college athletics so special to so many people,” Drake told Eleven Warriors in an interview earlier this month.
Smith suggested that the California state institutions will not be part of the NCAA and said Ohio State will not play schools from California after the law is implemented.
“If the California law goes into effect in ’23,” Smith told USA TODAY, “and let’s say the NCAA legislation, however it emerges, doesn’t quite meet what California wants it to be and they continue to hold that law, who’s going to play (California schools)? We’re certainly not. They won’t be members of the NCAA. I think that’s going to be the problem.”
Smith spoke more thoroughly about the new California law ahead of Tuesday's typical media availability with Ohio State football players and coaches, expressing concern about the standardization and regulation of the law from state to state.
“We can’t have a situation where we have schools and/or states with different rules for an organization that’s going to compete together,” Smith said.
Smith suggested that they will need federal help to regulate and standardize the new laws and referenced statements made by former Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, who now represents Ohio’s 16th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I actually think that what we should have is we should have one federal law that allows this to take place but alongside of regulation at the NCAA level,” Gonzalez said Tuesday in an appearance on Fox Business. “That’ll even the playing field for everybody, and it’ll provide important benefits to athletes who I think absolutely deserve them. And so that’s ultimately the direction that I hope this goes, and I’ll be looking to introduce legislation along those lines."