OSU heavyweights sound off on bill allowing college players to make money off name, image

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COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 17: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries the ball for a gain as Cameron Martinez #10 moves in for the tackle during the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Lawmakers are debating a measure that would allow college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness.

On Tuesday, Ohio State heavy hitters took the Ohio Statehouse to testify in support of Senate Bill 187.

Senate Bill 187 passed the Senate last week and is now working its way through the House. On Tuesday, the House State and Local Government committee heard testimony from Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, Buckeyes Head Football Coach Ryan Day, and former quarterback Cardale Jones.

As of July 1, several states including Florida and Texas will be able to offer their college athletes a chance to make money from their name, image, and likeness. If Ohio doesn’t pass this bill, Day said recruiting could suffer for a long time, with students going to schools that would allow athletes that opportunity.

“To say that you can’t make money off of your name, image, and likeness right now but you can in these other states will put us at a major disadvantage,” he said.

Jones, who’s playing days at Ohio State are over, said it would have been helpful to make money while he was in school.

“I was fortunate enough to be on scholarship, but I can tell you this, scholarship did not always cover all expenses,” Jones said.

Despite the bill not helping him, Jones wants it to pass and help the Buckeyes that are in school now.

“I look at it as the NCAA is finally giving the student athletes a chance to capitalize on their self-worth,” he said.

Opponents have brought up concerns for the sanctity of college sports. When asked if he is concerned the name, image, and likeness bill will change the game, Day said no.

“I’m more concerned if we don’t make some changes here because of everything going on throughout the country,” he said. “Certainly, we’ll have some challenges moving ahead, but I think we have a lot of great plans in place and we’re going to navigate it one day at a time.”

The bill includes an emergency clause that will make it effective immediately once it is signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine. Lawmakers are still under a tight time frame with other states’ bills going into effect on July 1.

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