Ohio bill introduced could allow college athletes to be compensated for use of name, image, likeness


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Monday a state senator from the Miami Valley introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness. In addition to earning money, the bill would also allow student athletes to secure representation, like professional agents.

This conversation has been coming to a head for years, and the University of Dayton says it’s supporting the movement.

State Senator Niraj Antani introduced the bill, and says, “What we are simply doing is treating student athletes just like any other student.”

The new bill would go into effect July 1 of this year, allowing college athletes in Ohio to be paid for the use of their name, image and likeness. Sixteen other states have legalized NIL ownership for student athletes, 10 more have bills in the works.

Senator Antani says, “Not every student will get a Nike deal or a Coke deal. Many of these will get deals back home, in their hometown. Where they are significant, where they are proud of their student athlete for making it.” Auto dealerships, bookstores and restaurants were cited as examples.

OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith says, “That would include possibly appearances, that would possibly include autograph sessions, that would possibly include speeches to the employees of that organization.”

University of Dayton Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan says, “We’re ready to embrace the opportunity, our student athletes are ready to embrace the opportunity.”

Sullivan says the university has been considering it for years, knowing these developments were coming. “We look at it as an opportunity to showcase our student athletes and help them essentially have their first job. When they do this, this is the opportunity for young men and women to enter the business world and enter these spaces.”

OSU will start educating athletes in the month of June. Smith says, “There are things our student athletes have to learn, many of them have already learned those things. But we’ll have to teach them a lot of things in order to ensure they do this the proper way.”

Athletes must inform the college or university of their intent to enter into the contract at least 15 days before they do so. Athletes will be prohibited from entering into contracts where they will be associated with marijuana, alcohol, tobacco or casinos.

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