Ohio bill on profiting rights for college athletes could be voted this week

Sports

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 11: The Ohio State Buckeyes head in for the half at the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A bill that would allow Ohio college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness is out of committee at the Ohio Statehouse and headed to the main floor, where it could be voted on as soon as Wednesday.

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day appeared in front of the Workforce and Higher Education Committee to advocate for the bill, which was introduced three weeks ago by Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg).

Antani introduced the bill alongside Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who said the university will spend June teaching its student-athletes the proper way to get compensated for their NIL.

Antani said he wants the bill to go into effect by July 1.

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.

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.

NIL is not the only piece of legislation involving college sports in Ohio after a comprehensive sports gambling bill was introduced in early May.

Important Upcoming Timeline

JUNE: The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on March 31 in the Alston v. NCAA antitrust case. The NCAA wants to be able to retain control on how to define amateurism and professional sports, but that control could be left to individual states depending on how the nine justices rule. The Supreme Court is expected to publish its decision sometime before the end of June.

JUNE 23: The NCAA’s Division I Council is expected to act on NIL rule changes on this date. Originally, the NCAA was hoping Congress would provide a national framework to allow the NCAA to regulate the NIL market for all college athletes.

JULY 1: NIL laws are set to go into effect for college athletes in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and New Mexico on this date. The NCAA could file a lawsuit and ask a judge for an injunction to postpone these laws from going into place on July 1.

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