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Volume 26 No. 179
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Ohio State AD: We Won't Schedule California Schools With NIL Bill

OSU AD Gene Smith doesn't see how California schools can remain NCAA members if the NIL bill passes
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
OSU AD Gene Smith doesn't see how California schools can remain NCAA members if the NIL bill passes
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
OSU AD Gene Smith doesn't see how California schools can remain NCAA members if the NIL bill passes
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Ohio State AD Gene Smith will not "schedule games against California schools for dates after Jan. 1, 2023," if the state passes its Fair Pay to Play act, according to Steve Berkowitz of USA TODAY. Smith indicated that the "uncertainty surrounding a potential difference between California law and NCAA rules" should California Gov. Gavin Newsom pass the bill would lead him to that decision. That is because Smith does not see how colleges in the state "could remain NCAA members unless differences between the law and the NCAA's rules can be resolved." Smith said, "If the California law goes into effect in '23, and let's say the NCAA legislation, how ever 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 added if Newsom signs the NIL bill, California schools are going to have a "model where they can almost pay for play -- not quite -- but I think they're going to be challenged to maintain their membership in the association because, as an association, we have the authority as a group to make our own rules and regulations, and they will be outside those rules and regulations."

TIME TO WORK THINGS OUT? Should Newsom pass the act, which passed a state legislature vote earlier this month, it would not be enacted until '23. Smith is co-chairing an NCAA working group to examine name, image and likeness, and he said, "What's fortunate is we have till 2023, and I'm hopeful that once our working group completes its work and the association goes through next year, we can get to a point where we mitigate this. But if it stands as it is, and other states create similar legislation, then we've got a big issue" (USA TODAY, 9/27).