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Name, image & likeness bill benefiting student-athletes passes House

With action taken by the House of Representatives today, Mississippi is one step closer to becoming the seventh state to enact legislation that would allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. 

While Congress and the NCAA each work out their own versions of NIL legislation and regulations, the bill authored by Rep. Mac Huddleston would give college athletes (18+ years of age) in Mississippi a chance to receive payments for endorsements through third-parties such as a local business. Under this bill, the schools themselves cannot pay athletes, but the terms of any compensation must be disclosed to the school.

In order to profit from their NIL, the athlete, according to the bill, would have to hire professional representation. 

Several representatives questioned how NIL laws would operate in Mississippi under the NCAA’s existing rules. Rep. Huddleston explained that he has received reassurances from council that the governing body of college athletics could not penalize student-athletes in the state should this bill pass as long as the rules are followed. 

Among the stipulations included in the bill, it’s stated that “no institution, booster, third-party licensee, or any other individual or entity shall provide a prospective or current student-athlete compensation or enter into a name, image and likeness agreement as an inducement for the student-athlete to attend or enroll in a specific institution or group of institutions.”

Additionally, student-athletes cannot endorse gambling, alcoholic, tobacco or any other product or service that is “reasonably considered to be inconsistent with the values or mission of a postsecondary educational institution.”

An amendment offered by Rep. Becky Currie was adopted before the bill passed by an 89-23 margin. That amendment would restrict a transgender athlete from earning compensation from their NIL “as a female athlete or on an athletic team or sport designated for females.”

Currie also tried to add the “Mississippi Fairness Act’ into this legislation, but that amendment failed. It appears that the bill to block transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports will not be taken up by the Senate.  

The ‘Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation Rights Act’ now moves over to the Senate. 

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