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Name and image likeness bill passes house

By Jordan Hensley, LRC

Frankfort, KY - A bill that would permanently allow Kentucky's collegiate athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL) is one step closer to becoming law.

The Kentucky House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 6 by an 89-2 vote on Monday. The Senate unanimously approved the bipartisan measure on Feb. 10.

SB 6 codifies NIL agreement rights and provides a framework for students and colleges and universities.

Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, presented SB 6 on the House floor Monday on behalf of the bill's primary cosponsors, Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.

Palumbo said the bill is necessary because neither Congress nor the NCAA have taken action on NIL since last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue.

Following the ruling, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order in July to allow NIL agreements for Kentucky's student athletes. Since then, lawmakers have met with universities, coaches, athletes and other stakeholders for their input on SB 6.

"(Senate Bill 6) provides protections for student athletes seeking compensation through name, image and likeness agreements," Palumbo said. "It provides similar protections for institutions. It establishes a process for institutions to review name, image and likeness agreements for student athletes."

The bill would also require institutions to provide financial literacy, life skills, social media and brand management education to students.

Another provision of SB 6 prohibits students from entering NIL agreements related to sports betting, controlled substances, adult entertainment, banned substances or products or services that would be illegal for the student athlete to possess or receive, Palumbo said.

"As Coach Calipari says, 'Senate Bill 6 is a model piece of legislation,'" Palumbo said.

During the March 1 House Education Committee meeting, one former University of Louisville athlete shared her story of having to donate the $3,000 she made modeling to charity after the NCAA decided the job violated the organization's NIL policy, despite the job not mentioning her name, school or the sport she played.

The NCAA also ruled the athlete ineligible to compete for a semester and required her to complete many hours of community service.

Palumbo shared this student's story on the House floor.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you was this fair? No, it was not," Palumbo said.

Rep. Adam Bowling, R-Middlesboro, said SB 6 is a "good bill" and he is proud to support the legislation.

"Senate Bill 6 protects both student athletes and our universities and sets our student athletes up for success," Bowling added.

SB 6 will now be sent to the governor's desk for his signature or veto. Due to an emergency clause in the bill, it would immediately become law upon his signature.

This story was posted on 2022-03-08 08:42:59
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