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Connecticut Becomes 19th State to Approve 'NIL' Legislation To Help College Athletes

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
A detail of Vance Jackson's UConn Huskies shoes, during the semifinal round of the AAC Basketball Tournament at the XL Center on March 11, 2017, in Hartford.

Connecticut has become the 19th state to pass a law allowing college athletes to collect money from their name, image and likeness. 

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is one of the lawmakers pushing for the so-called NIL bill to be passed on the federal level this month. He said college athletes make $20 billion for their schools each year, but they aren’t offered any protections or financial support when things go wrong. 

“The overwhelming number of athletes in this country won’t make a lot money off NIL, but all too many will suffer life-changing injuries or deprivation of educational opportunities and other kinds of harm we are seeking to protect against,” said Blumenthal.  

On Wednesday, NCAA President Mark Emmert testified before the U.S. Senate commerce committee, asking that the legislation be enacted nationwide before the start of the fall semester.

“Specifically, these rules changes would allow athletes to be compensated for third-party endorsements, social media opportunities, businesses they have started and personal appearances they may make,” said Emmert.

He said the NCAA is seeking provisions in the bill that support Title IX protections and provide fair opportunities regardless of gender. The organization is also seeking national legislation to supersede current state laws. 

“We need to safeguard the nonemployment of student-athletes to maintain the core principles of student athletics,” said Emmert.  

Because 19 states have passed their own regulations, it will make recruiting to some schools more desirable than others unless national legislation is passed. The NCAA and lawmakers also want mandatory training or resources for students who need help managing their income and signing contracts. 

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