University of Washington

Huskies coach Chris Petersen reacts to signing of California SB 206

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed California Senate Bill 206 into law on Monday. Also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, the bill allows college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. It will go into effect in 2023.

Washington head coach Chris Petersen answered several questions about the bill during his press conference on Monday. First, he was asked whether he was concerned the law could lead to an advantage for California schools when it comes to recruiting.

“Yeah,” he said. “Absolutely. I don’t know how this is going to go. Luckily, it’s not a problem I have to solve. So, good luck.”

Petersen didn’t elaborate much beyond those initial thoughts. After a follow-up question about the recruiting impact if other states join California with similar bills, Petersen said “they got to get it figured out.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “You got to have some rules to play by so hopefully they come up with rules to play by. I don’t know. I don’t have anything to do with this. They’re not asking me for advice on any on this stuff. So, just try to coach the guys, recruit the guys with the rules they give us. Yeah, I think that’s what everyone is concerned about: The recruiting rules.”

Petersen did say he would like coaches to have input on any potential legislation.

“Always,” he said. “On everything. It’s the game we love and spend our whole life doing. … We would always like to have a say because we’re always trying to do what’s best for the kids, contrary to some opinions.”

The formal signing of the bill took place Uninterrupted’s show “The Shop,” which is hosted by LeBron James.

“This is the beginning of a national movement, one that transcends geographic and partisan lines,” Gov. Newsom said on the show. “Collegiate student-athletes put everything on the line — their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives — to compete.

“Colleges reap billions from these student-athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model, one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted.”

On Monday morning, the Pac-12 released a statement on the bill saying it was “disappointed in the passage” and “believes it will have very significant negative consequences for our student-athletes and broader universities in California.”

“This legislation will lead to the professionalization of college sports,” the statement read, “and many unintended consequences related to this professionalism, imposes a state law that conflicts with national rules, will blur the lines for how California universities recruit student-athletes and compete nationally, and will likely reduce resources and opportunities for student-athletes in Olympic sports and have negative disparate impact on female student-athletes.”

Penalties, warnings and delays

After running back Salvon Ahmed’s 89-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of USC, center Nick Harris launched into a celebratory dance near the sideline. The only trouble? He didn’t realize the Huskies were planning to attempt a two-point conversion and Petersen was forced to call a timeout.

“He likes to dance,” Petersen said, barely hiding a smile. “He was not paying attention to what was going on in the game, feeling pretty good about himself and cost us a timeout. Not just him, but our whole team was not paying attention. Cost us a timeout. Frustrating. So we’ve got to do a better job across the board of just being organized on those things.”

Offensive lineman Trey Adams was also called for unsportsmanlike conduct during the game. While Petersen wasn’t sure exactly what happened, Adams did have to complete Petersen’s long-standing punishment for such penalties — 500 push-ups.

“He’s a little more buff today than he was yesterday,” Petersen said.

The Huskies also received a sideline warning during the win. Two days later, Petersen still isn’t exactly sure which UW coach was the offending party.

“I don’t totally know if it was me or another coach,” he said. “Yeah, it is what it is. There wasn’t a bump into somebody. It was just somebody who was in the white that shouldn’t have been, and it could’ve been me.”

Quarterback questions

The Huskies could be facing another backup quarterback this week as Stanford starter K.J.Costello missed last week’s game against Oregon State because of an injured hand. A separate injury sustained during the season opener forced Costello to sit out the Cardinal’s loss to USC on Sept. 7. He did return to play in losses to UCF and Oregon.

Starting in Costello’s place, Davis Mills led Stanford to a 31-28 victory over Oregon State last week. He completed 18-of-25 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns. In his first start of the season against the Trojans, he completed 22-of-36 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown.

Asked about the quarterback uncertainty, Petersen echoed the evaluation he used when the Huskies were preparing for a comparable situation against USC last week.

“I think (the quarterbacks) similar again,” Petersen said. “I mean, they don’t change their offense. Again, they might emphasize different calls, depending on what their strengths and weaknesses are of each quarterback. But they look very similar to me. Stanford’s always going to have a big-time thrower. They’re always going to have a good guy in there. They’re very similar.”

Extra points

The Huskies moved up to 15th in the AP top 25 released on Sunday. Oregon (13th), Utah (17th) and Arizona State (20th) were also ranked. Cal and USC dropped out after their losses last week.

Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for PennLive.com. A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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