Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Allowing Student Athletes to Get Paid for Endorsements

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The Republican governor of Mississippi has signed a bill into law allowing student-athletes to be compensated for use of their name, image, and likeness — a rule also called a NIL law.

Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill on Wednesday and becomes the second state behind Florida to enact a NIL law for student-athletes.

At least one state lawmaker said the legislature felt pressured to jump on the NIL bandwagon early for fear of losing college prospects.

“I don’t think any state is happy about this legislation, but we’re seeing this as a necessity,” Republican Rep. C. Scott Bounds recently told Sports Illustrated. “We don’t want to lose a competitive edge in recruiting, both athletically and academically, especially against those in the Southeastern Conference.”

The NCAA still prohibits college athletes from earning money from their name, image, and likeness under the rubric that college sports are supposed to be for amateurs. But as more states turn to enact laws that contradict the organization’s privacy rules, the pressure will mount for an end to the prohibition.

Thus far, only two states have enacted such rules, but a dozen others are in the midst of debating the idea. It is unclear if the NCAA will stick to its guns — thereby inviting lawsuits from students in NIL-friendly states — or it if will cave to the pressure.

Florida became the first state to enact a NIL bill when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Sunshine State’s bill into law last June.

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