Ohio bill would allow college student athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness

Sports

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A major piece of legislation involving college athletes and their name, image, and likeness (NIL) will be introduced Monday afternoon by Ohio State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg).

During a news conference, Antani announced he would be filing the bill later in the day that would allow Ohio college athletes to be compensated for their NIL.

Ohio State University Athletic Director Gene Smith was also in attendance. He said the school will spend the month of June teaching OSU student athletes the proper way to get compensated for their NIL.

Antani said he wants the bill to go into effect by July 1, 2021.

The NCAA and Congress have not passed one consistent rule regarding NIL, so it’s been left for states to decide how to govern this unchartered territory.

More than a quarter of the country’s states now have a law on the books that will protect the rights of college athletes to make money off of their names, images, and likenesses.

Thirteen bills involving NIL have been signed into law but eight of those have a different start date ranging from this July to September 2025.

On October 29, 2019, the NCAA’s board of governors directed all three NCAA divisions to make NIL rules by January 2021. NCAA leaders failed to do so and decided instead to task Congress with creating one overarching piece of legislation. So far, Congress has not been able to pass a NIL law in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

NIL is not the only piece of legislation involving college sports in Ohio after a comprehensive sports gambling bill was introduced in the Buckeye state two weeks ago.

Important Upcoming Timeline

JUNE: The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on March 31 in the Alston v. NCAA antitrust case. The NCAA wants to be able to retain control on how to define amateurism and professional sports, but that control could be left to individual states depending on how the nine justices rule. The Supreme Court is expected to publish its decision sometime before the end of June.

JUNE 23: The NCAA’s Division I Council is expected to act on NIL rule changes on this date. Originally, the NCAA was hoping Congress would provide a national framework to allow the NCAA to regulate the NIL market for all college athletes.

JULY 1: NIL laws are set to go into effect for college athletes in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and New Mexico on this date. The NCAA could file a lawsuit and ask a judge for an injunction to postpone these laws from going into place on July 1.

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