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Texas college athletes will soon be able to receive compensation from outside companies who wish to use their name, image or likeness under a new law signed Monday night by Governor Greg Abbott.
State Senator Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, said he sponsored the bill to keep Texas college athletic programs competitive because other states passed similar legislation. At least 15 states have passed bills lifting the ban on allowing student athletes to be paid by third parties, with California being the first state to approve the change in 2019.
NCAA rules currently prohibit athletes from receiving any kind of compensation other than a scholarship to play college sports. This law would not change this ban on direct payment by a college or university, but would allow college athletes to receive payment elsewhere.
The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the Texas House and Senate, though some lawmakers fear it will negatively affect college sports, which several lawmakers say should “be played for the sake of the game. Game “. Supporters have said college athletes deserve to benefit from the industry in which they play a major role.
“The biggest winner has to be all the student-athletes,” State Senator José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, told the Senate in April. “We are winning in entertainment. Universities earn income, and they have to share that because of their hard work. “
The NCAA board of governors voted to allow players to be paid for their name or likeness in October 2019, but the Division I board postponed a vote on specific rules in January as they pursued them. discussions with the federal government on the rules.
In recent months, federal lawmakers have rushed to pass a federal bill that would provide national guidance on the issue before five state bills across the country come into force on July 1. Currently, students who accept money for their varsity athlete status could lose their eligibility to play in the NCAA.
Texas law also comes into effect on July 1 because it received two-thirds of the vote in each chamber.
Under the law, college athletes would also be allowed to hire an agent to represent them. And that requires athletes to take a financial literacy workshop in their first and third years. Student athletes would still not be allowed to contract with particular industries, including alcohol, tobacco products, casino games, a gun the student athlete cannot legally buy, or a business. of a sexual nature ”.
Experts say most athletes wouldn’t see a huge financial windfall from the changes, with the exception of star football or basketball players.