Ohio State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) introduced a bill on Monday to allow college athletes to earn compensation from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
The bill prohibits any college, university, or intercollegiate athletic association from preventing a student from participating in athletics as a result of this compensation.
“As a student at The Ohio State University, I saw the hard work student athletes put into their academics and their sport. Not every student athlete has a scholarship and even for those that do, it may only cover their cost of attendance, leaving little left over for living expenses,” a statement from Antani says.
Currently, student-athletes are unable to personally profit from NIL compensation through endorsements or sponsorships. However, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the respective colleges and universities continue to collect profit.
“These college students should be able to benefit from their own name, image, and likeness. Most will not get endorsement deals from major shoe and apparel companies, but rather from their hometown businesses, such as an auto dealer or bookstore,” the statement adds.
The bill received an endorsement from Gene Smith, the Athletic Director at Ohio State University.
Previously, the NCCA has stated that they are opposed to state-led legislation such as this one — opting to support a federal solution. However, while attempts have been made, federal lawmakers have been unable to provide qualifying legislation at this time.
Many opponents argue that college-athletes do profit at their respective colleges and universities. Instead of direct payments, athletes received college scholarships and housing options. Therefore, adding these direct payments would be counterproductive.
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