Burgeoning ‘Fair Pay to Play’ movement adds Illinois, Nevada

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Pretty soon, it’s going to be easier to list the states that aren’t a part of this burgeoning movement than the ones who are enlisting on a seemingly hourly basis.

Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, guarantees student-athletes in the Golden State will have the right to market their name, image, and likeness (NIL) without fear of recrimination from NCAA member institutions.  Not long after, Florida joined New York, North Carolina and South Carolina as the latest state to start down the NIL path blazed by California.

Tuesday, we noted that Pennsylvania (HERE), Minnesota (HERE) and Kentucky (HERE) were all states whose legislators are working on bills similar to the one approved in California.  That same day, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that two Nevada state lawmakers, including former Nevada running back Jason Frierson, are in the early stages of exploring similar legislation; the Decatur Herald & Review writes that “[a]n Illinois lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to allow college student-athletes to sign endorsement deals, hire agents and benefit financially from the use of their likeness.”

“First and foremost, it’s about fairness and equity, and athletes being able to profit off their own names and their own likeness,” Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch told the Herald & Review.

According to Welch, Illinois’ bill would cover both public and private universities.

working group was formed by NCAA in May to deal with the NIL issue, and the group is expected to release its findings later this month. It’s believed that at least a portion of the recommendations will revolve around federal involvement to help facilitate “a fair and level playing field” across the country instead of what it has described as “a patchwork of different laws from different states.”