Name, image and likeness bill signed in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - Joined by state lawmakers, university leaders, coaches, and student-athletes, Gov. Andy Beshear signed legislation Wednesday that allows student-athletes in Kentucky to receive fair compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness.
In June of last year, after consulting with lawmakers and universities, Beshear was the first governor to sign an executive order immediately allowing students to receive such compensation after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA and its rules limiting educational benefits for college players as part of their scholarships. Senate Bill 6 codifies the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-418 in state law.
“This is an exciting day for college athletics in the state of Kentucky. The University of Louisville owes a huge thank you to our legislators for passing, and our governor for signing into law, a bill that makes the state of Kentucky better,” said Josh Heird, University of Louisville Interim Director of Athletics. “This law will enable every university in this state to compete at the highest level when it comes to attracting and retaining student-athletes. The ability for our student-athletes to generate revenue from their name, image and likeness has been long overdue and UofL looks forward to helping our student-athletes maximize those opportunities.”
“Dealing with name-image-likeness issues is an ongoing process for our student-athletes and our schools,” University of Kentucky head football Coach Mark Stoops said. “This legislation will help our student-athletes continue to maximize opportunities while giving our schools more flexibility in supporting and protecting our young people. We are appreciative of Gov. Beshear and the legislature for their work on this.”
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA in a significant case that challenged the association’s ability to have national limits on benefits for athletes that are related to education, but more broadly the case has raised questions about the NCAA’s ability to limit benefits at all.
The NCAA Board of Governors has preliminarily approved changes to their eligibility rules that would allow such compensation, and the U.S. Congress has held hearings on creating a national standard for compensation. However, until that happens, Kentucky colleges and universities would have faced a competitive disadvantage without the governor’s executive order and Senate Bill 6.
Kentucky colleges and universities have been directed to provide education and other resources to assist students with financial literacy, time management and social media and brand management. Additionally, colleges and universities will retain the flexibility to reasonably limit the time, dates, and associations from which the student-athlete may earn compensation.
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