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Supreme Court, NCAA decisions embolden advocates for college athlete compensation in California

Supreme Court, NCAA decisions embolden advocates for college athlete compensation in California

California’s landmark law allowing college athletes to sign paid endorsement deals started a national movement.

CALIFORNIA, USA — This story was originally published by CalMatters.

Advocates for college athlete compensation in California are on a hot streak. First the state passed a first-in-the-nation law allowing players to sign paid endorsement deals, and 20 states followed its example. Now, with both a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and a National Collegiate Athletic Association rule change challenging the idea that students shouldn’t make money from athletics, legislators are pushing to move up the effective date of the California law to this fall and expand it to cover community college athletes.

“The amateurism ideals have been weakening over time, not only with just player movements, advocate movements, but also because of litigation that’s currently playing out,” said Eddie Comeaux, a professor of higher education at UC Riverside who studies college athletics.

The NCAA has previously barred athletes from earning money for their performance, aside from scholarships. But the Supreme Court’s 9–0 ruling June 21 allows colleges to also cover as much as $ 6,000 per year in education-related expenses for athletes, such as laptops and study abroad programs. While it didn’t directly strike down the NCAA’s amateurism model, a concurring opinion from Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaled a willingness to do so, spurring hope among advocates that more avenues for player compensation could be on the horizon. 

Then Wednesday, the NCAA announced that it won’t penalize athletes for taking advantage of state laws like California’s that allow them to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness. 

“With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a press release. 

“The Supreme Court’s ruling basically told the NCAA you’ve got to follow the law, you’re not immune to antitrust, you cannot be a monopoly,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, the author of the Fair Pay to Play Act,  which passed the California Legislature in 2019. She’s now pushing a bill that amends the law to take effect Sept. 1, rather than in 2023. It passed the Assembly’s higher education committee this week, and would need to receive a two-thirds vote by the Assembly and be signed by the governor to become law.

State laws giving college athletes the ability to pursue money-making opportunities also went into effect Thursday in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, New Mexico and Mississippi. 

College athlete endorsements on social media could eventually become a $ 2 billion dollar market, said Thilo Kunkel, director of the Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University and the founder of an app called Sprter, which helps players build and monetize their personal brands. Kunkel said his research found that the average college athlete with a few thousand followers could expect to make around $ 2,000 a year in additional income from social media endorsements. 

“Most people won’t get rich off of them, but, you know, if you’re making $ 2,000 extra a year, it’s 50 bucks a week, it’s a little bit here, it’s a little bit there,” he said. 

Athletes on the Sprter app can sign endorsement deals, sell social media shoutouts and book in-person experiences such as a training session with fans. It’s just one of a number of ventures already sprouting up as the new NCAA rules take effect this week. Hanna and Haley Cavinder, twin sisters who play for Fresno State’s basketball team, told ESPN they had already signed their first endorsement deal with Boost Mobile on Wednesday.

Unlike the original Fair Play to Pay Act, Skinner’s new bill would afford California’s community college athletes the same freedom to profit from their name, image and likeness as their peers at four-year universities. The bill has the support of the California Community College Chancellor’s office. 

“Students should not have to sit by and watch others profit off of their hard work and labor without being equitably compensated for it, just because they participate in college athletics – and that includes our many community college student-athletes as well,” spokesperson Rafael Chávez said in a statement to CalMatters. 

John Beam, the athletic director and head football coach at Oakland’s Laney College, said the inclusion of the state’s community college athletes would be a huge win. He said that while not all athletes will be able to take advantage of the money-making opportunities, it’s an important first step to restoring a sense of humanity to how college athletes are treated. 

“We have kids that are hungry every day and I can’t bring, you know, Cup of Noodles in to give them,” Beam said. “We’re not talking about a meal plan, we’re talking about survival food. So I’m hoping that it trickles down to allow us to really care for our student athletes like we should.”

Athletes including Elias Escobar, a football player at Laney College, said the ability to make some extra cash could help with basic needs such as rent, food and gas money for his commute to campus. 

Being an athlete, Escobar said, is “like a full-time job and I’m not getting paid for it.” 

“There were times I didn’t even go to class because I didn’t have any gas money to put in my car, or like, I’m going to school and not eating all day,” he said.

California’s two public university systems, the University of California and California State University, said they were monitoring the bill. “UC continues to work with Senator Skinner, and members of the state Legislature, to ensure that the University is prepared for an accelerated implementation date of Sept. 1,” spokesperson Ryan King said in a statement.

Some advocates for college players want to go even further. A bill this year by state Sen. Sydney Kamlager would have required colleges to pay their athletes a royalty for use of their name, image and likeness if the revenue a sports program generates is more than double the amount it awards in athletic scholarships.  The bill, introduced when Kamlager was an Assemblymember, would also have beefed up enforcement of Title IX, the federal law barring sex discrimination in sports and other educational programs, and placed a cap on salaries for college coaches. 

It stalled in the Assembly. But the recent decisions by the Supreme Court and NCAA could pave the way for California to take more aggressive action on athlete compensation going forward, said Ramogi Huma, the executive director of the National College Players Association, which advocates for the rights of college athletes.  

“A 9-0 decision saying that this is an exploitative industry and college athletes deserve more compensation should be a green light for the state of California to once again reshape college sports in a way that’s more equitable for players,” Huma said. 

Reagan is an intern with the CalMatters College Journalism Network, a collaboration between CalMatters and student journalists from across California. This story and other higher education coverage are supported by the College Futures Foundation.

WATCH RELATED: California to let college athletes sign endorsement deals, defying NCAA (Sept. 2019)

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Author: Matthew Reagan
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Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy back after new NCAA NIL rules

Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy back after new NCAA NIL rules

NCAA athletes can now make money off their name, image and likeness. Bush returned his Heisman after

College athletes on Thursday were officially granted the right to profit off their name, image and likeness, what many saw as a long time coming. Meanwhile, former athletes penalized for doing so when it was banned, including former USC and NFL running back Reggie Bush, are looking for reinstatement.

Bush won the Heisman Trophy, the award for college football’s most valuable player, at USC in 2005. 

In Nov. 2007, sports agent Lloyd Lake sued Bush and his family in an effort to recoup $ 291,600 in cash and gifts.  

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A four-year investigation revealed Bush and family members received improper benefits including cash, travel expenses, a home in the San Diego area where family members lived rent free for over a year, and more. 

The NCAA hit USC with sanctions and ordered the university to disassociate with Bush.  Amid reports the Heisman Trophy Trust would strip his award, Bush eventually returned it. His records were also scrubbed.

On Thursday when the new NIL rules started, Bush released a statement on Twitter saying he reached out to the NCAA and Heisman Trophy Trust regarding reinstatement of his records and trophy, but said the Heisman Trust doesn’t plan on changing anything.

“We left multiple messages for Michael Comerford, the President of the Heisman Trust, but instead received a call from Rob Whalen, the Executive Director, who stated that Mr. Comerford would not be calling us back and that, in any event, they could not help us,” Bush said. 

“We reached out to the NCAA on multiple occasions and received no help or got no response at all. It is my strong belief that I won that Heisman Trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated.”

In 2005 Bush rushed for 1,740 yards and 16 touchdowns, adding nearly 500 yards receiving and two touchdown catches. He went on to be drafted No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints.

Meanwhile, other former NCAA athletes who had records or wins vacated are looking for similar reinstatement that Bush is seeking. 

Former Michigan basketball player and NBA star Chris Webber tweeted on Thursday, “Ummmmmmm soooo …whoever has the key please hit me up.   I need that key.. you know… the one to the secret room with the Banners…”

Webber was part of Michigan’s “Fab Five” that included Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard. 

Several Michigan basketball players in the 80s and 90s were accused of accepting money from program booster Ed Martin. Webber confessed to accepting a loan from Martin in the scandal and the NCAA eventually punished Webber and Michigan by removing two NCAA Final Four appearance banners and vacated Webber’s 1993 All-American honors. 

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NCAA adopts temporary rules allowing athletes to earn money off name, image and likeness

NCAA adopts temporary rules allowing athletes to earn money off name, image and likeness

The decision effectively suspends NCAA restrictions on payments to athletes for sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

NCAA athletes will be eligible to make money on their name, image and likeness (NIL) starting Thursday after the NCAA announced it had adopted new, unified, interim NIL rules for all incoming and current athletes.

“This is an important day for college athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a press release.

The NCAA’s decision to suspend restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.

Emmert added these policies would be temporary as the NCAA continues, “to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level.”

Some states already have laws that lay out what and how collegiate athletes are currently allowed to benefit. Others do not. The policies the NCAA adopted Wednesday reflected that. 

Under these policies, athletes, recruits and their families are allowed to profit from their name, image and likeness as long as it is within the current laws of whatever state the school is in. In states where there aren’t currently NIL laws on the books, there are no such restrictions. All athletes however, should report their NIL activities to their school.

The policies laid out by the NCAA are not sacrosanct, however. The interim policies also permit the individual schools and conferences to develop their own protocols.

“The new interim policy provides college athletes and their families some sense of clarity around name, image and likeness, but we are committed to doing more,” Division III Presidents Council chair Fayneese Miller said. “We need to continue working with Congress for a more permanent solution.”

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting.

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Author: Joe Calabrese
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Emmert: NCAA crafting 'interim' NIL rules after court loss

Emmert: NCAA crafting 'interim' NIL rules after court loss

The rules would allow athletes to make money off their celebrity as early as July.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday the association is working on interim rules that will permit college athletes to earn money off their fame and celebrity by July and act as a bridge until there is a permanent solution.

In a memo sent to member schools and obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert acknowledged the current uncertainty across college sports as it moves toward allowing name, image and likeness compensation for athletes.

“We are focused on providing you additional guidance to make the introduction of the NIL era as smooth as possible,” he wrote in the memo, which was first reported by The Athletic.

Six states — Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico — have laws set to go into effect July 1 that would undercut existing NCAA rules and give athletes the opportunity to be paid by third parties for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

Several other state laws could also go into effect in July. Without NCAA action, athletes in some states could be making money without putting their college eligibility in jeopardy while their counterparts in other states could be in danger of breaking NCAA rules.

“Although permanent NIL rule changes by July 1 are unlikely due to the legal environment, we are working with divisional governance bodies to develop interim solutions that will fairly allow student-athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities regardless of the state in which they are enrolled,” Emmert wrote.

Last week, Emmert sent a letter to membership urging legislative action on NIL rules or he would take executive action on a temporary solution.

The NCAA Division I Council met Tuesday and Wednesday but was not expected to take any action on NIL. The leaders of six Division I conferences have urged D-I Council to shelve a NIL proposal that has been in limbo for months and instead proposed a stopgap measure that would allow schools to implement NIL rules until a federal law is passed.

Emmert wrote in his latest letter that the NCAA remains “committed to working with Congress to chart a path forward, which is a point the Supreme Court expressly stated in its ruling” this week, a 9-0 decision against the NCAA on the topic of education-related benefits for athletes.

After the ruling, Emmert stressed the high court still puts authority to govern college sports in the hands of the association. However, he warned the more than 1,100 member schools Wednessday “existing and new rules are subject to antitrust analysis and we should expect continued litigation., particularly in the area of ‘play for pay.’”

This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

EXPLAINER: The Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA

EXPLAINER: The Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court ruling that went against the NCAA could open the door to schools using unlimited benefits tied to education to recruit top athletes.

The NCAA’s loss in a 9-0 decision will not directly lead to play-for-pay in college athletics, but it did clear a path for future legal challenges that could be even more impactful.

RELATED: High court sides with former athletes in dispute with NCAA

RELATED: Conferences urge stopgap for NCAA on NIL until federal law

Here’s what to know:


The original lawsuit brought by former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston challenged the NCAA’s right to cap compensation to Division I football and basketball players at the value of a scholarship.

The lower court’s decision went against the NCAA. In a narrow ruling, a judge said the NCAA could not cap benefits to athletes that are tied directly to education. The court left it up to the NCAA to define educational benefits but the NCAA appealed and lost.

The case was the first involving the NCAA heard by the Supreme Court since 1984.


They are some of the costs associated with being a student, costs a school could pick up for an athlete. Examples include a study abroad program, a paid internship or an athlete’s school computer.


The ruling doesn’t mandate that schools pay athletes. It only prevents the NCAA from standing in the way of educational benefits.

Schools and even conferences could impose their own rules or caps, but plaintiffs’ lawyers believe teams competing against each other on the field will look for ways to gain an advantage through these benefits and recruits will capitalize on the market.


Schools could start offering athletes in those high profile sports things like internships, laptops or even cash bonuses tied to academics or graduation effective immediately.

Still, it is more likely that conferences, schools and even the NCAA will take time to clarify the original ruling and come up with some guidelines and definitions about what is permitted. Overall value, though, cannot be capped.


The lower court’s ruling itself is not the NCAA’s biggest headache. The Supreme Court’s decision also left the NCAA open to more legal challenges and stripped it of one of its best defenses.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority decision that the 1984 Board of Regents case, which went against the NCAA but also gave the association some cover against antitrust law, no longer need be adhered to by courts in future cases.

“It’s certainly notable that there was unanimous opinion that Board of Regents does not support the NCAA’s restrictions on athlete compensation,” said Gabe Feldman, director of Tulane’s sports law program. “That was the key argument in every case the NCAA had made (in court). Not only that Board of Regents supports it, but that Board of Regents means that all NCAA rules are essentially legal.

“That’s the language they were hoping to get from the court. Instead they got that the language means nothing. Board of Regents provides no support.”

Feldman said unless the NCAA can get some type of antitrust exemption from Congress the lawsuits might never stop. The NCAA has already been asking for protection from Congress in the form of a federal law that would regulate the way athletes can be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses.

“The silver lining for the NCAA — it’s a faint silver lining — is that this theoretically strengthens their argument in Congress that if they don’t get an antitrust exemption they’re going to get sued into oblivion,” Feldman said. “And it’s only a matter of time before antitrust law destroys the NCAA’s vision of amateurism.”

This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Conferences urge stopgap for NCAA on NIL until federal law

Conferences urge stopgap for NCAA on NIL until federal law

Six state laws allowing college athletes to earn endorsement money will take effect on July 1.

Six Division I conferences, including the SEC, ACC and Pac-12, are urging the NCAA to implement a stopgap measure that would allow college athletes to earn money off their fame before a federal law is passed.

In a letter sent to the head of the Division I Council, the conference commissioners recommended the council refrain from adopting the proposed reforms to the NCAA”s name, image and likeness compensation rules. The council is scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday.

The letter was first reported on by ESPN.

NCAA President Mark Emmert also sent a memo to the association’s member schools Friday, pushing for an NIL solution before the end of the month when six state laws go into effect. In that memo obtained by AP, Emmert said if membership did not act on an NIL proposal, he was prepared to take executive action.

The NCAA has asked Congress for a federal NIL law that would preempt state laws and help provide a uniform standard for its more than 1,100 member schools. But lawmakers in Washington are not close to passing a bill.

The six conferences said the NCAA’s proposal would be vulnerable to legal challenges and would be invalid in states with their own NIL laws. The commissioners for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference also signed the letter to Penn athletic director Grace Calhoun, who is the chairwoman of the Division I Council.

They also sent a proposed alternative to the NCAA’s current NIL proposal that would go into effect July 1 if adopted. That proposal was obtained by the AP.

The proposal would allow athletes in states with NIL laws to follow those laws when they go into effect. Schools in states without NIL laws would adopt their own policies that would permit athletes to be paid by third parties — but not by boosters of a school —- for things like endorsement deals, personal appearances and sponsored social media posts.

Those policies would be used until a federal law is passed.

This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

High court sides with former athletes in dispute with NCAA

High court sides with former athletes in dispute with NCAA

The court ruled Monday that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football can’t be enforced.

WASHINGTON — In a ruling that could help push changes in college athletics, the Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that the NCAA can’t enforce certain rules limiting the education-related benefits — things like computers and graduate scholarships — that colleges offer athletes.

The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries. Instead, the ruling will help determine whether schools decide to offer athletes tens of thousands of dollars in those benefits for things including tutoring, study abroad and internships.

The high court agreed with a group of former college athletes that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits that colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football can’t be enforced.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court that the NCAA sought “immunity from the normal operation of the antitrust laws,” which the court declined to grant.

Under current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA had defended its rules as necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports.

But the former athletes who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, argued that the NCAA’s rules on education-related compensation were unfair and violate federal antitrust law designed to promote competition. The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling barring the NCAA from enforcing those rules.

As a result of the ruling, the NCAA itself can’t bar schools from sweetening their offers to Division I basketball and football players with additional education-related benefits. But individual athletic conferences can still set limits if they choose. A lawyer for the former athletes had said before the ruling that he believed that if his clients won, “very many schools” would ultimately offer additional benefits.

The NCAA had argued that a ruling for the athletes could lead to a blurring of the line between college and professional sports, with colleges trying to lure talented athletes by offering over-the-top education benefits worth thousands of dollars. Even without the court’s ruling, however, changes seem on the way for how college athletes are compensated. The NCAA is trying to amend its rules to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses. That would allow athletes to earn money for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsement and personal appearances. For some athletes, those amounts could dwarf any education-related benefits.

The players associations of the NFL, the NBA and the WNBA had all urged the justices to side with the ex-athletes, as did the Biden administration.

This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

As Texas Legislature considers anti-trans bills NCAA announces

As Texas Legislature considers anti-trans bills NCAA announces

The National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors said it will only hold college championships in states where transgender student-athletes can participate without discrimination. The Monday warning[2] sets the stage for a political fight with multiple states, including Texas, that are considering bills in their legislatures that would require students to play sports with only teammates who align with their biological sex.

“Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport,” the NCAA statement said. “Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them.”

Texas lawmakers have filed six bills that target transgender students’ sports participation — but only two of those bills would affect colleges and universit[3]y sports in addition to K-12. While most of the proposals have not yet received a hearing, one bill, which was named a Senate priority,[4] recently advanced out of a Senate State Affairs Committee to the full chamber for a vote. It would require the University Interscholastic League, which runs K-12 sports, to amend its rules to only let students play sports with students who match their biological sex as determined at birth or on their birth certificate. If passed, it would go in effect Sept. 1.

Reps. Cole Hefner[5], R-Mount Pleasant, and Valoree Swanson[6], R-Spring, who authored the two bills affecting college and university student athletes, were not immediately available for comment. Their bills have not yet been scheduled for hearings.

Lawmakers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have already passed bills that would bar transgender girls from participating in women’s sports. According to the American Civil Liberties Union,[7] more than 30 states are considering similar bills that would limit transgender students sports participation.

Texas lawmakers are also considering a bill[8] that would classify providing children with puberty suppression drugs or performing gender reassignment surgery as child abuse. Another bill would revoke a doctor’s medical license if they perform a sex reassignment surgery for the purpose of gender reassignment to people under 18 years old or prescribe “puberty blockers.” Puberty blockers are reversible drugs often used by a transgender child who wants to delay puberty, including changes such as starting a period or deepening voice. The bill would also prohibit gender-confirming surgeries and hormone therapies. The Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony on both bills Monday, but took no action on the legislation.

The recent NCAA women’s basketball tournament was held in Texas. Multiple games in the 2022 NCAA men’s March Madness tournament are already scheduled to be played in Fort Worth and San Antonio.

During previous legislative sessions, Texas Republicans, like those in other states, unsuccessfully pursued so-called “bathroom bills” that would prevent transgender people from using the bathroom that matched their gender identity. Business leaders at the time came forward with their opposition to the anti-transgender legislation —a trend that is re-emerging this session.

The NCAA’s statement comes as corporations are vocalizing their opposition to other conservative efforts, including proposed changes to Texas voting laws. Multiple Texas based companies, including Dell and American Airlines[9], spoke out against the proposed law earlier this month.

LGBTQ advocates said conservatives across the country are latching onto issues related to athletics and health care as the latest way to spread fear about transgender children using inaccurate information, despite opposition from medical and athletic associations.

Equality Texas held a press conference outside the Capitol building Monday afternoon, where transgender Texans and parents of transgender children spoke about their efforts to stop the passage of anti-trans legislation.

“We hope that Texans realize what’s really happening, which is essentially adults in power bullying trans kids,” said Emmett Schelling, the executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas.

“What they are doing is just unconscionable. These bills are just bad lawmaking,” said Lisa Stanton, a Houston resident and the mother of a transgender girl. “Instead of focusing on issues that focus on and affect all Texans, these legislators are trying to pass bills that harm children, rather than help them.”

While the legislation has seen some traction in the upper chamber, it’s unclear whether there will be support in the House, where similar bills[10] have yet to get assigned a committee hearing.

In the past, Speaker Dade Phelan[11], R-Beaumont, has pushed back against bills that would weaken protections for LGBTQ people. After the Senate passed a bill in 2019 that removed nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation, the House State Affairs Committee, which Phelan chaired, had the language reinstated.

Phelan said in an interview[12] at the time that he was “done talking about bashing on the gay community.”

“It’s completely unacceptable,” he said. “This is 2019.”

In an interview with the Tribune in January, Sen. Charles Perry[13], R-Lubbock, who filed the priority bill and others on the issue, argued the changes were necessary to preserve Title IX.

He said transgender girls in particular — whom he referred to in an interview as “individuals who are quote confused” — could have an unfair advantage in strength and ability.

“This is purely 100% devoted to the preservation of Title IX and allowing women to compete against women in their peer groups in that biological category, so they know they can have an equal and fighting chance based on ability and not over some political narrative of the day that undermines fairness,” he said.

Perry could not immediately be reached for comment about the NCAA action.

On Monday, Perry said during the State Affairs Committee hearing that the bills were trying to protect children who don’t possess the maturity to understand the impact of these decisions.

“God created us all in his own image. …We went outside that creation by our own accord and suffer with some of the consequences of being outside his will since the garden,” Perry said, referring to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. “This is another one of those issues that we find ourselves entangled in that unfortunately, the damage is to our most precious, precious being our children, not our personal lineage, but all of God’s children and the children in this state.”

But during testimony, at least one transgender Texan child pushed back on Perry’s arguments.

“God made me. God loves me for who I am, and God does not make mistakes,” Kai Shappley, a 10-year-old transgender girl, told the committee. Shappley and her mother, Kimberly, have fought anti-trans bills proposed by the legislature for several years now. The family moved from Pearland to Austin because of discriminatory laws that would not allow Kai to use the women’s restroom.

“I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices,” Shappley said.

Duncan Agnew and Megan Munce contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Dell and Equality Texas have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here[14].


  1. ^ Sign up for The Brief (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ transgender student-athletes can participate without discrimination. The Monday warning (www.ncaa.org)
  3. ^ would affect colleges and universit (capitol.texas.gov)
  4. ^ bill, which was named a Senate priority, (capitol.texas.gov)
  5. ^ Cole Hefner (www.texastribune.org)
  6. ^ Valoree Swanson (www.texastribune.org)
  7. ^ According to the American Civil Liberties Union, (www.aclu.org)
  8. ^ a bill (capitol.texas.gov)
  9. ^ including Dell and American Airlines (www.texastribune.org)
  10. ^ imilar bills (www.texastribune.org)
  11. ^ Dade Phelan (www.texastribune.org)
  12. ^ Phelan said in an interview (www.texastribune.org)
  13. ^ Charles Perry (www.texastribune.org)
  14. ^ list of them here (www.texastribune.org)

Kate McGee

WATCH: Overjoyed Baylor fans storm field in Texas after NCAA title win… but predictable Covid sniping is quick to follow

WATCH: Overjoyed Baylor fans storm field in Texas after NCAA title win... but predictable Covid sniping is quick to follow

Fans of the Baylor men’s basketball team stormed their American football stadium pitch following their NCAA title win, but predictably received a backlash for the act.

The Bears overcame the previously unbeaten Gonzaga Bulldogs by 86-70 on Monday night, in the decider of college basketball’s biggest tournament. 

It was played at a separate site in Indianapolis, and as fans watched via video link at the McLane Stadium back at Waco in Texas, they were unable to contain themselves at the final buzzer.

The thrill of their beloved Bears scooping a first NCAA championship proved too overwhelming, and resulted in those in attendance storming the pitch in celebration.

Footage of the incident was shared online by both Baylor and the Fox College Football page, with unimpressed onlookers making comments including “super spreader” and “so much for social distancing” in reference to Covid.

Others even called for Baylor to be “stripped” of their title for the debacle, and said: “People are dying, just a reminder”.

“Oh no. Commence the pearl clutching over social distancing,” remarked a different user. 

“My student is there and like thousands of others was already vaccinated in Waco. Sorry if your state isn’t keeping up,” scoffed one Baylor fan, though she was reminded that hers is 46th in the US rankings in this respect.

“Leave it to Texas to be incredibly irresponsible during a pandemic,” it was also said. 

And while many corners of the world carry on strictly restricting fans at events, the Lone Star State continues to head in the opposite direction. 

On the opening day of their MLB season, the Texas Rangers allowed a 100% capacity crowd into their Globe Life Field stadium, drawing calls of “disgusting”, “the Lone Brain Cell State”, “reckless” and “disturbing” from the horrified.

Praising an increasing sense of liberty, however, contrarians found it “glorious”

“This is a beautiful sight to see FREEDOM Not Communism,” wrote one supporter.

Next month, the state’s other sporting pride and joy, the Dallas Cowboys – who are often referred to as “America’s Team” – will welcome boxing lovers to their home to see Canelo Alvarez take on Billy Joe Saunders in a supermiddleweight unification bout. 

With attendance anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 expected, pre-sales have already smashed the 40,000 mark. 
Also on rt.com Boxing superstar Canelo to face British loudmouth Saunders in front of 100,000 – the biggest crowd since the Covid pandemic began


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Stanford holds off Arizona 54-53 to win women's NCAA title

Stanford holds off Arizona 54-53 to win women's NCAA title

Stanford (31-2) built a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter before Arizona (21-6) cut it to 51-50 on star guard Aari McDonald’s 3-pointer.

SAN ANTONIO — Haley Jones scored 17 points and Stanford beat Arizona 54-53, giving the Cardinal and coach Tara VanDerveer their first national championship in 29 years on Sunday night.

It wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch with both teams struggling to score and missing easy layups and shots, but Stanford did just enough to pull off the win.
Stanford (31-2) built a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter before Arizona (21-6) cut it to 51-50 on star guard Aari McDonald’s 3-pointer.
After a timeout, Jones answered with a three-point play with 2:24 left. That would be Stanford’s last basket of the game. McDonald got the Wildcats with 54-53 with 36.6 seconds left converting three of four free throws.
The Cardinal, after another timeout couldn’t even get a shot off, giving Arizona one last chance with 6.1 seconds left, but McDonald’s contested shot from the top of the key at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
It’s been quite a journey for VanDerveer and the Cardinal this season. The team was forced on the road for nearly 10 weeks because of the coronavirus, spending 86 days in hotels during this nomadic season.
The team didn’t complain and went about their business and now have another NCAA championship. Along the way the Hall of Fame coach earned her 1,099th career victory to pass Pat Summitt for the most all time in women’s basketball history.
Now the 67-year-old coach has a third national title to go along with the ones she won in 1990 and 1992. That moved her into a tie with Baylor’s Kim Mulkey for third most all time behind Geno Auriemma and Summitt.
VanDerveer had many great teams between titles, including the ones led by Candice Wiggins and the Ogwumike sisters — Nneka and Chiney, but the Cardinal just couldn’t end their season with that elusive win in the title game until Sunday night.
It was the first women’s basketball championship for the Pac-12 since VanDerveer and Stanford won the title in 1992. The last time a team from the conference was in the title game was 2010 when the Cardinal lost to UConn. 
That game was also played in the Alamodome — the site of every game in this tournament from the Sweet 16 through Sunday’s championship game.
The entire NCAA Tournament was played in the San Antonio area because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Stanford had history on its side, Arizona has been building under coach Adia Barnes, who was the fourth Black woman to lead her team to the championship game, joining Carolyn Peck, Dawn Staley and C. Vivian Stringer. Peck and Staley won titles.
Barnes starred for the Wildcats as a player in the late 90s and came back to her alma mater five years ago. She guided the team to the WNIT title in 2018 and led them to their first NCAA title game ever. This was the team’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2005 — although the Wildcats would have made the NCAAs last season had it not been canceled by the coronavirus.
The Wildcats started the season No. 7 in the poll and moved up to as high as sixth — the best ranking ever in school history —for a few weeks.
McDonald, who followed her coach from Washington as a transfer, has been a huge reason for the team’s success. The 5-foot-6 guard, who is lightning quick, is one of the rare two-way players in the game who can make an impact on both ends of the court.
She struggled against the Cardinal, finishing with 22 points.
McDonald got the Wildcats on the board hitting a 3-pointer, but then Stanford scored the next 12 points. The Cardinal led 16-8 after one quarter.
Arizona got going in the second quarter and took a 21-20 lead before Stanford scored 11 straight points, highlighted by Lexie Hull’s four-point play. The Cardinal led 31-24 at the half. McDonald missed nine of her 11 shots in the first half.
The Wildcats were trying to be only the fourth team to trail by double digits and win a championship.
These teams met twice during the regular season and Stanford rolled past Arizona both times, winning by double digits in each game.
Sunday night’s game was the first with two teams from west of the Mississippi playing for a title since 1986. … Notre Dame had the biggest comeback of any team in the NCAA title game rallying from 15 down to win the 2018 title on a last-second shot by Arike Ogunbowale.
Barnes has beaten VanDerveer just twice in her career as both a player and coach at Arizona. She lost seven of eight playing for the Wildcats in the late 90s. The lone victory came in her senior year on a last-second shot off a pass from Barnes to teammate Reshea Bristol, who hit a 20-footer for the win in 1998. As a coach she had lost 10 of the 11 previous matchups before Sunday with the only victory coming in overtime on Feb. 28, 2020.