23 May 19
Santa Cruz Sentinel
* The Pac-12 Hotline newsletter is published each Monday-Wednesday-Friday during the college sports season (and twice-a-week in the summer). This edition, from May 23, has been made available in archived form.
CA vs. the NCAA Heats Up
We noted earlier this week that the newsletter would publish on a Tuesday-Friday schedule through the summer unless news dictated a change. Welp, news has spoken, so here’s a rare Thursday edition …
The California state senate took a major step toward legalizing Senate Bill 206, which would allow collegiate athletes at both public and private universities throughout the state to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness.
“The Fair Pay to Play Act” is the brainchild of state senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and on Wednesday the bill passed the senate by a 31-4 margin — a bipartisan blowout, if you will.
“The California Senate has spoken loud and clear: Student athletes should enjoy the same right as all other students — to earn income from their talent,” Skinner said.
“SB 206 gives our college athletes the same financial opportunity afforded to Olympic athletes.”
The bill does not allow schools to compensate athletes directly. Rather, it would permit USC quarterback JT Daniels to be paid, for example, for endorsing Toyota of Anaheim.
“SB 206 doesn’t require colleges to pay student athletes or incur any other costs,” Skinner said.
“Instead, it will help relieve the financial pressure on young athletes to quit school and turn pro before they’ve completed their degrees.”
According to this press release posted on Skinner’s website, the legislation:
• Would prohibit the NCAA from banning California colleges and universities from intercollegiate sports if their athletes sign sponsorship deals.
• Would also allow college athletes to hire sports agents.
• Would bar colleges and universities from signing high school students to sponsorship deals as a recruiting tool.
The final step in the legislative process could take months. But if SB 206 passes the assembly, it would set up a momentous showdown with longstanding NCAA rules that prevent athletes from being compensated.
However, it might not come to that.
The California bill would take effect in 2023, giving both sides crucial time to adjust.
And the NCAA, perhaps anticipating this very kind of legal challenge, recently announced the formation of a working group to address the vexing matter of name, image and likeness. (The group includes Colorado athletic director Rick George.)
California law vs. NCAA amateurism: The Hotline would be rooting for the former. — Jon Wilner.
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Hot off the Hotline
• The Pac-12 spent years researching standards for non-conference schedules, diving into the data, monitoring schedule models in other conferences and working with coaches to formulate the most reasonable plan. The Hotline went behind the scenes to explain the process and purpose.
• ICYMI: The Tuesday newsletter addressed an undeniable trend: The Pac-12 has made a series of smart policy decisions thus far in 2019, from the independent review of football officiating to the loosening of transfer rules. Previous editions of the newsletter are available in archived form.
Why we need your support: Like so many other providers of local journalism across the country, the Hotline’s parent website, mercurynews.com, recently moved to a subscription model. A few Hotline stories will remain free each month (as will this newsletter), but for access to all content, you’ll need to subscribe at a rate of just 12 cents per day for 12 months. And thanks for your loyalty.
• Former UCLA coach (and 49ers executive) Terry Donahue is being treated for cancer (type: undisclosed) and will undergo chemotherapy. Our best to Donahue and his family.
• It’s official: Former Arizona center Nathan Eldridge has joined Oregon State. He’s eligible immediately and is expected to start.
• Utah season ticket sales are rolling even though the Utes have a less-than-stellar home schedule. Makes sense given the expectations: Rose Bowl or bust, right?
• Also from SLC: The Utes spent a pretty penny luring back offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who reportedly will earn $2.5 million. (That makes him one of the top-paid assistants in the conference on a per-year basis.)
• Oregon needs nickelback Verone McKinley III to make a major jump in his weekly contribution.
• The Pac-12 is the conference of chump change, writes the Salt Lake Tribune’s Gordon Monson.
• Programs across the Power Five are beefing up future schedules, perhaps in anticipation of … playoff expansion.
• Washington landed one of the most significant basketball recruits of the 2018-19 cycle: 5-star forward Jaden McDaniels of Federal Way is joining forces with 5-star big man Isaiah Stewart to give the Huskies a class that can compete for the Pac-12 title despite all the attrition.
• Colorado coach Mel Tucker dipped into his SEC roots to land Jake Wray, a 4-star offensive line prospect from Marietta (Ga.) who was committed to Ohio State until Urban Meyer stepped down. This is a major pickup for Tucker in terms of both personnel and credibility.
• Arizona State secured an in-state commitment for the class of 2020, from 3-star offensive lineman Ben Bray.
On the Hardwood
• USC’s roster is fairly loaded for next season, thanks to the combination of returnees and elite recruits. “There is a professionalism on our team now,” coach Andy Enfield said. (Our theme for the Trojans next season: No excuses.)
• Former Cal forward Justice Sueing has selected Ohio State as his transfer destination.
• New UCLA coach Mick Cronin chatted with reporters last week and, while known for producing tough teams, said he has “never discussed being tougher.”
• Former NBA players being appointed college coaches is all the rage, with Juwan Howard at Michigan the latest. (The Pac-12 has two examples cited.)
• Finally: Notices of allegations of impropriety for schools involved in the corruption scandal “will be coming” from the NCAA, while Notre Dame’s Mike Brey wants schools to fire coaches caught cheating.
Content on Pac-12 Olympic sports.
• The Cal athletics Hall of Fame class of 2019 includes Olympians Holly McPeak and Dana Vollmer.
• Arizona third baseman Nick Quintana is sizzling (12-game hitting streak) as the postseason approaches.
• Arizona State has staggered to the finish, returning the focus to coach Tracy Smith’s job performance.
• Meanwhile, Oregon coach George Horton’s future with the program appears to be in doubt.
• The Ducks’ women’s basketball program added to a stocked recruiting class with 5-star forward Kylee Watson.
• For the first time in more than a decade, Utah will have a golfer at the NCAA championships. His name: Kyler Dunkle.
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What’s coming on the Pac-12 Hotline:
• There’s more than enough news for a return of the Pac-12 stock report. It’s tentatively scheduled for Friday morning.
• Expenditures by the conference office have been a source of controversy for several years. How does the Pac-12 compare to its peers on that front? The Hotline’s crack research staff is on the case.
• Barring news, the Hotline will be dark through the holiday weekend, but I have plenty of content planned for next week and throughout June.
The next newsletter is scheduled for Tuesday. Enjoy the newsletter? Please forward this email to friends (sign up here). If you don’t, or have other feedback, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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