NCAA

Remembering Smith and Carlos' famous salute

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Remembering Smith and Carlos' famous salute

The iconic image of San Jose States Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in salute of the disenfranchised was, as their longtime friend and fellow Spartan alum Ron Davis said, born from the turbulent times of 1968.

We had the assassination of Martin Luther King during that year, Davis said. The Civil Rights Movement was going on in the U.S.

Americas black Olympians had considered an Olympic boycott that year, but Smith said they chose to protest injustice in another way.

We were smart enough to use what we had, which is our speed, the fastest men in the world, and smart enough to realize the need because we lived the need, Smith said.

Almost immediately after their gesture, Smith and Carlos, and even second-place finisher, Peter Norman of Australia, who sympathized with them, began paying the price.

They were booed off of the platform. Smith and Carlos were kicked out of the Olympic Village, and none of the three ever raced in Olympic competition again.

I can see the sacrifice to these two young men, them not knowing what to expect but still making one of the biggest sacrifices of their career, in fact of their lives, Smith said.

The punishment the Olympians faced led them to desperate measures at times.

John Carlos had to use his furniture for firewood, they were so poor, Davis said. I think that struggle that he had probably took its toll on his wife and the same thing with Tommy Smith.

Davis, now the track coach at San Jose State, looks on in satisfied wonder at the statue erected on campus in honor of Carlos and Smith. The 23-foot statue, depicting Smith and Carlos on the Olympic podium with their fists raised and gloved, was erected in 2005.

Davis said history has been kind to the duos legacy.

Now people understand was they were talking about because people are experiencing it now due to the financial crisis that we are all having, Davis said. Because of that, they can relate to why they did what they did.

Ex-Cal football player Eric Stevens fighting for ALS cure after diagnosis

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AP

Ex-Cal football player Eric Stevens fighting for ALS cure after diagnosis

Former Cal Bears fullback Eric Stevens now is a Los Angeles City firefighter. He knows what it's like to put others' lives ahead of his own. 

Now, his family hopes those will return the favor.

Stevens was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 29, soon after getting married to the woman of his dreams.

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Let’s help Eric #axeALS!!!! #TeamStevensNation

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"The diagnosis and subsequent education they received about the horrific disease was the worst news one could ever imagine," a Facebook post dedicated to "Team Stevens Nation," described.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a debilitating and incurable disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. With a life expectancy between two and five years, paralysis comes much quicker. And there is much unknown about it. 

While there are many treatments going through clinical trials that are showing promise, there is still a 50 percent chance those could receive a placebo over the actual treatment.

"There is NO reason why a person with a terminal diagnosis should receive placebo over the actual treatment," the Facebook page explains. "Another downside to these clinical trials is they are a year-long process, and time is the one thing ALS patients don't have. Every single day without treatment is a day lost."

Those can donate to and share the family's GoFundMe page here

Stevens, now 30, totaled 14 carries for 53 yards, and 13 catches for 82 yards and one touchdown in his career at Cal that spanned from 2008-2012. But despite playing sparingly, he was voted team captain.

He was signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2013, but never played a snap in the NFL.

[RELATED: A's Piscotty accepts prestigious Hutch Award]

"Given his strong determination and success in anything he puts his mind to, Eric has chosen to fight and advocate for getting drugs and treatments available to patients NOW," the Facebook group wrote. "Eric's goal with the help of his family and friends is to raise awareness for ALS and act now toward getting treatments available."

Gavin Newsom signs 'Fair Pay to Play' act with LeBron James on 'The Shop'

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USATSI

Gavin Newsom signs 'Fair Pay to Play' act with LeBron James on 'The Shop'

Monday was a monumental day in college athletics.

California Governor Gavin Newsom went on HBO and Uninterrupted's "The Shop" to formally sign California's "Fair Pay to Play" act alongside Lakers star LeBron James.

The law will allow college athletes in the state of California to profit off the use of their name, image and likeness, and will make it illegal for universities to revoke a student's scholarship for accepting money. The bill will not pay athletes to play, but it will allow them to sign agents and seek out business deals.

"[Signing the bill] is going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation," Newsom said on "The Shop" prior to signing the bill. "And it’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interests, finally, of the athletes, on par with the interests of the institutions. Now we’re rebalancing that power arrangement."

The bill will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Warriors forward Draymond Green has been a vocal proponent of the bill, and he gave Newsom props after the signing.

Newsom's bill has faced blowback from both California schools and the NCAA, as it would make it impossible for those schools to follow the NCAA's amateurism rules. The NCAA has called the bill unconstitutional and will challenge it in court.

The NCAA responded with a statement.

The Pac-12 also issued a statement. 

[RELATED: Draymond supports California bill for NCAA athletes]

The signing of the bill is expected to cause an avalanche of states to pass similar legislation and fundamentally change how amateurism and college athletics are viewed.

Well done, Gov. Newsom.