COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and former Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones testified at the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to support Ohio college athletes profiting on their name, image and likeness.
Senate Bill 187 was unanimously passed through the Senate last week. A House committee approved the bill Wednesday, and it is expected to be voted on by the full House on Thursday.
Support for the bill comes at the same week the Supreme Court ruled that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits that colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football can’t be enforced.
Senate Bill 187 was introduced three weeks ago by Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) alongside Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.
Smith says the university has spent the month of June teaching its student-athletes the proper way to get compensated for their NIL.
Ohio State will help teach student-athletes about NIL and athletes must inform their universities about NIL contracts, but school officials can’t veto them.
Day, Smith and Jones all appeared in front of the House of Representatives State and Local Government Committee to advocate for the bill.
Antani wants Senate Bill 187 to go into effect July 1 because several states have already passed a name, image and likeness bill, which will go into effect on the first day of July.
“If we wait past July 1 it certainly puts … student athletes across the state of Ohio and all the universities and institutions on an unlevel playing field,” Day said. “To say you can’t make money off your name, image and likeness right now but you can at these other states, would put us at a major disadvantage.”
Day says Ohio State, and other colleges and universities in Ohio, would be put at a major disadvantage when it comes to recruiting.
Jones, who helped Ohio State win a national championship in 2015, said he might have stayed in school if he could have profited from his name, image and likeness while playing for the Buckeyes.
“I think it would have definitely impacted my decision on leaving school early or staying for an extra year,” Jones said.
The NCAA and Congress have not passed one consistent rule regarding NIL, so it’s been left for states to decide how to govern this unchartered territory.
The NCAA’s Division I Council was expected to act on NIL rule changes on Wednesday, June 23.
More than a quarter of the states now have a law that will protect the rights of college athletes to make money off of their names, images, and likenesses. Thirteen bills have been signed into law, but eight of those have a different start date, ranging from July 2021 to September 2025.
In October 2019, the NCAA’s board of governors directed all three NCAA divisions to make NIL rules by January 2021. NCAA leaders failed to do so and decided instead to task Congress with creating one overarching piece of legislation.
So far, Congress has not been able to pass a NIL law in either the House or the Senate.