Louisiana Senate Bill 60, proposed by Senator Patrick Connick, allowing student athletes to earn compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) has passed through the senate and house and is headed to the governor’s desk for signature. If signed, the bill will go into effect immediately. This bill will allow student athletes to receive compensation through endorsement deals, appearances, and other business endeavors, subject to some limitations. Furthermore, the bill prevents universities from creating rules that unduly restrict a student-athlete from profiting from their NIL. The following is a summary and breakdown of the bill:
- Prevent or unduly restrict a student athlete from profiting from his/her NIL.
- Revoke or reduce a student athlete’s grant-in-aid (scholarship) because of his/her ability to profit from NIL.
- Compensate a current or prospective student athlete for his/her NIL (directly or indirectly). Alumni associations, athletic fundraising organizations, and any other entity whose purpose includes supporting or benefiting the university are included in this prohibition.
- Use an athletic booster to create or facilitate NIL compensation opportunities as a recruiting inducement or as a means of paying for athletic performance.
- Prevent or unduly restrict a student athlete from obtaining professional representation by an athlete agent or attorney engaged for the purpose of securing compensation for the use of their NIL.
- Implement the provisions of the NIL Law until such time as the appropriate management board adopts required policies.
- Prohibit a student athlete from using his/her own NIL if there are conflicts with the University’s:
- existing sponsorship agreements; or
- values (as defined by the University.
- Require a third-party to follow the university’s licensing protocols if the third-party contracting with a student athlete intends to use the university’s facilities, uniforms, logos, colors, etc. for endorsement purposes.
- Directly disclose to the student athlete or his/her representative any team contract that conflicts with a student athlete’s NIL contract.
- Conduct a financial literacy and life skills workshop for at least five hours at the start of the student athlete’s first and third academic years.
- Adopt policies to implement the provisions of the NIL Law.
- Earn compensation for the endorsement of tobacco, alcohol, illegal substances or activities, banned athletic substances, or any form of gambling.
- Use a university’s facilities, uniforms, registered trademarks, products protected by copyright, or official logos, marks, colors, or other indicia in connection with their NIL without the university’s permission.
- Enter into a NIL contract that:
- violates Louisiana’s NIL Law;
- conflicts with his/her team contract;
- contains a contract duration beyond his/her participation in an athletic program at the university.
- Earn compensation for the use of his/her NIL in an amount equal to the market value of his/her NIL
- Disclose executed NIL contracts to the university in the manner designated by the institution.
The passage and implementation of this bill is a monumental change for student athletes and universities in Louisiana. The attorneys at BSW have closely monitored the progress of the bill and are able to help assist with any matters relating to NIL, including contracting, policy drafting and any other questions you may have related to this bill.