Governor Lee signs Name, Image and Likeness Bill, allowing college athletes to earn money

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Gov. Bill Lee signed the “Name, Image and Likeness Bill” on Tuesday, giving college athletes a chance to make money playing sports.

The law requires their compensation must be commensurate with the “fair market value” of the athlete’s name and likeness. He also says that payments cannot be made in exchange for athletes’ attendance at a specific institution and must be made by a third party other than their university.

Athletes also cannot earn money from name, image, or likeness if they promote gambling, smoking, alcohol, or adult entertainment. Colleges and universities can also create reasonable restrictions to ensure that the activities of athletes do not interfere with the normal activities of the team or with the institution as a whole.

Colleges and universities should also host a financial literacy workshop for athletes during their first term of registration.

The law is expected to come into force on January 1, 2022.

Some athletes have said the law is long in coming and argued that colleges in Tennessee risk falling behind in recruiting if the bill is not enacted. They also said it would also encourage athletes to see their image as part of their college career.

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