On Monday, November 21, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill that allows New York collegiate student-athletes (“SA’s”) to make money off their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) without jeopardizing their eligibility or scholarships.
The Legislation makes New York the 30th state to join the NIL space, and it is unlikely it will be the last. The new Legislation, which will take effect on January 1, 2023, amends the education law allowing SA’s to receive compensation for the use of their NIL. “Our collegiate student-athletes are heroes on the field – and they deserve to be treated like heroes even after the final whistle,” Governor Hochul said in a recent press conference.
The Legislation prohibits a college or university from “taking away the scholarships or eligibility of any SA making money from endorsements.” While the Legislation allows SA’s to enter endorsement deals, there are a few limitations. For instance, the SA’s must disclose the contract to a designated official of the college before executing the deal. This limitation allows the designated official to determine whether the contract or any of its provisions conflict with the SA’s obligations to the school and/or athletic department. Moreover, Section 2 of the Act requires a college to disclose the conflict and the relevant provisions to the SA’s. Yet, the Bill does not explain the consequences if the SA’s were to sign a contract without disclosing the details.
Additionally, the Legislation allows SA’s to hire attorneys and/or agents to represent them during NIL deals. However, the professional representation must be a person registered and/or licensed by the state. Before this Legislation, SA’s could risk their eligibility status if they hired professional representation.
Furthermore, the Legislation requires schools participating in NCAA Division 1 Athletics to offer SA’s personal and professional services such as, “assistance in degree completion, career development, financial and mental health, discrimination, and harassment training and leadership training.” “It is our hope that DI Colleges will continue to look out for the best interests of the student-athletes by establishing saving plans for students, as well as a fund for financially distressed stressed student-athletes,” Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages said following the signing of the Legislation.
The Legislation is a huge step in the right direction, providing further protection to SA’s who plan to profit off their NIL.
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