Model Legislation - Name, Image, Likeness Pay

Model Legislation - Name, Image, Likeness Pay

 SECTION 1.  Declarations

1. The Legislature seeks to help ensure college athletes have equal rights and economic freedoms afforded to all students and residents in the state of ______________. 

2. The Legislature recognizes the disproportionate negative impact that economic and legal restrictions have on African American and female college athletes.

3. The commercial exploitation of college athletes’ name, image, and likeness rights is not required for school-based athletics; it is an optional, lucrative activity for which athletes should be fairly compensated by 3rd parties.

4. College sports is a $14 billion dollar industry with millionaire coaches and lucrative apparel deals that require college athletes to advertise for commercial interests.

5. Rules prohibiting college athlete compensation for use of name, image, and likeness rights, or athletics reputation do not bring forth competitive equity and cannot justify denying college athletes equal rights and economic freedom.

6. College athletes’ representation should be independent from athletics associations, athletic conferences, and colleges to avoid a conflict of interest.

SECTION 2. Definitions

“Athlete” means an individual that participates or participated in intercollegiate sport for a postsecondary educational institution located in the state.  An individual’s participation in a college intramural sport or in a professional sport outside of intercollegiate athletics does not apply.

“Athletic association” means an entity with athletics governance authority and is comprised of postsecondary educational institutions and athletic conferences.

“Athletic conference” means an entity and/or a collaboration of entities such as the autonomy conferences that has/have athletics governance authority, is a member of an athletic association, and has members comprised of and/or competes against postsecondary educational institutions.

“3rd party” means any individual or entity other than a postsecondary educational institution, athletic conference, or athletic association.

SECTION 3. Resolution

The state of ____________ requests that any federal legislation regarding this act respect and permit _____________ college athletes' rights, protections, and other provisions included in this legislation.

SECTION 4. Legislation

Part A.

1. A postsecondary educational institution shall not uphold any rule, requirement, standard, or other limitation that prevents a student of that institution from fully participating in intercollegiate athletics without penalty and earning compensation as a result of the use of the student’s name, image, or likeness rights, or athletic reputation. Earning compensation from the use of a student’s name, image, or likeness rights, or athletic reputation shall not affect a student’s grant-in-aid or stipend eligibility, amount, duration, or renewal

2. For purposes of this section, a grant-in aid and/or a stipend from a postsecondary educational institution in which a student is enrolled is not compensation for use of a student’s name, image, and likeness rights, or athletic reputation; and a grant-in-aid or stipend shall not be revoked or reduced as a result of a student earning compensation pursuant to this section. 

3. A postsecondary educational institution shall not interfere with or prevent a ______________ student from fully participating in intercollegiate athletics for obtaining representation unaffiliated with a postsecondary educational institution or its partners in relation to contracts or legal matters, including, but not limited to athlete agents, financial advisors, or legal representation provided by attorneys.

4. A college athlete shall not enter into a contract with a 3rd party providing compensation to the athlete for use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness rights, or athletic reputation which requires a student to advertise for the sponsor in person during official team activities without approval from the athlete's postsecondary educational institution.

5. A postsecondary educational institution shall not prevent a college athlete from receiving 3rd party compensation for using the athlete’s name, image, or likeness rights, or athletic reputation when the athlete is not engaged in official team activities. Such restrictions may not exceed 20 hours per week during the season and 8 hours per week during the off-season.

Part B.

1. Postsecondary educational institutions that enter into commercial agreements that directly or indirectly require the use of a college athlete’s name, image, and likeness must conduct a financial development program of up to 15 hours in duration once per year.

            a. The financial development program cannot include any marketing, advertising, referral, or solicitation by providers of financial products or services.

2. Athlete attorney representation shall be by persons licensed by the state.

Part C.

1. This legislation shall apply only to contracts entered into, modified, or renewed on or after the enactment of this section.

2.  Athletes have the right to pursue private action against 3rd parties who violate this act through superior court, through a civil action for injunctive relief or money damages, or both.

  1. The court shall award court costs and reasonable reimbursement for attorneys’ fees to the prevailing plaintiffs in an action brought against a violator of this legislation. 

3. Athletes and state or local prosecutors seeking to prosecute violators shall not be deprived of any protections provided under ______________ law with respect to a controversy that arises in ______________; shall have the right to adjudication in ______________ a claim that arises in ______________.

4.  The provisions of this chapter are severable.  If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

5.  Legal settlements cannot permit noncompliance with this act.

6. This chapter shall apply to any applicable agreement or contract newly entered into, renewed, modified, or extended on or after July 1, 2021.  Such agreements or contracts include but are not limited to the National Letter of Intent, an athlete’s financial aid agreement, commercial contracts, and athletic conference or athletic association rules or bylaws.

***States may want to make clear that violations of this legislation is a per se violation of their state antitrust law and should consider granting the Attorney General some discretion for penalties.