In a letter to state lawmakers in June, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the bill could make it "impossible to host fair national championships," and implied that if the bill became law, athletes at California schools could be barred from competing in NCAA national championships.
James has been a longtime critic of NCAA policies. Last month, he grilled the organization over a new set of requirements for agents looking to represent men's college basketball players who are considering entry into the NBA draft. He was also recently the executive producer of an HBO documentary about student-athletes and the college sports industry.
Although SB 206 would not apply to California's community colleges, it would require the chancellor of the state community college network to convene a special working group and submit a report with policy recommendations on student-athlete compensation.
The measure was also amended recently to include language that specifies a hierarchy of endorsement deals. If an athlete's team had an endorsement from one company, for example, that athlete would be barred from signing a deal that conflicts with the school's agreement. Universities, however, would not be allowed to prevent athletes from signing endorsement deals when they're not engaged in "official team activities" off the field or court.
The legislation easily passed the state Senate earlier this month and was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week. The full Assembly is expected to vote on the measure on Monday. If passed and signed by the governor, the law would not go into effect until 2023.