‘Progress’ or potholes? California’s NIL law stirs debate in Big Ten

'Progress' or potholes? California's NIL law stirs debate in Big Ten

Former Michigan guard Jordan Poole, right, says he “for sure” would have been using his name for endorsements after his buzzer beater in 2018 beat Houston in the NCAA Tournament. (Photo: Robin Buckson, Detroit News)

All it took was one shot for former Wolverine Jordan Poole to become a household name.

Two seasons ago, Poole turned into an overnight celebrity when he hit the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Houston in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Yet, Poole couldn’t cash in on his instant fame since NCAA bylaws prohibit student-athletes to profit from the use of their name and image. That could change in the future after a new law was passed in California that would allow college players in the state to hire agents and make money from endorsement deals starting in 2023.

“I know for sure I would have been using my name after that Houston shot,” Poole, now a rookie with the Warriors, told reporters last week at Golden State’s media day.

“But I feel like it’s a huge step in the right direction. I feel like it’s a lot of money that college players make that’s going to the organizations and the schools and universities. Being able just to have that pass in the state of California is just huge for the game.”

Whether student-athletes should be paid beyond the costs of attending a university has been an ongoing debate — and one that was brought back into the national spotlight thanks to California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which was signed last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom in the face of opposition from the NCAA.

The bill would allow college athletes in California to financially capitalize on their names, images and likenesses (NIL) — just like the pros — and would prevent schools from stripping student-athletes of their scholarships or kicking them off the team if they sign sponsorship deals. It wouldn’t mean student-athletes would receive salaries from the school.

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The NIL law stirred up no shortage of opinions during last week’s Big Ten basketball media day, starting at the top with commissioner Jim Delany who said he opposes the California bill because college sports are “an educational arrangement.”

“The student who plays athletics in the Big Ten is in school for education first, that there’s an amazing opportunity to get a world-class education here, and there’s…

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