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Athlete pay

Stanford's Bryce Wills drives the ball past California's Connor Vanover in the second half of an NCAA college basketball.

College athletes could soon be getting a check in the mail, but it won't be from the NCAA.

A proposal introduced by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would allow players to get compensated for sponsorship opportunities.

Under Senate Bill 206, dubbed the "Fair Pay to Play Act," college athletes from California's 24 public colleges and universities would be able to make money "as a result of the student's name, image, or likeness." The universities would be prohibited from taking away scholarships from students who choose to pursue those opportunities.

"College athletes have been exploited by a deeply unfair system," Skinner said. "The NCAA, the universities, the media, they've made billions of dollars on the talent of athletes, while the athletes have not received anything."

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She said it is not her intent to have universities directly pay the athletes beyond scholarships. Rather, she wants students to get a larger piece of the pie by profiting off of their skills.

Skinner noted she plans to add more protections in her bill in the coming weeks and months. She wants to give athletes a "right" to secure representation through an agent.

The NCAA did not respond to a request for comment.

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