By Harry Allison

A seemingly innocuous vote last night in the California State Assembly is the first crack in the NCAA’s stranglehold on college athletics.

The bill that would allow college athletes to more easily make money off their own name, image and likeness, beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

The vote — initially posted as 66-0, but later shown as 72-0 with 7 not voting — all but assures that the measure will go to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

If the legislation reaches Newsom’s desk, he will have 30 days to sign it or veto it. If he takes no action, the bill becomes law.

Although an NCAA panel is studying potential changes in the association’s policies regarding athletes’ names, images and likenesses, this sets up the prospect of a conflict between the NCAA’s amateurism rules and the laws of a state that has more than 20 Division I schools, including four members of the Pac-12 Conference.