More States Continue To Evaluate NIL Legislation Post-California Law
A new legislative proposal that a New Mexico lawmaker "plans to introduce next year" would allow college athletes to "make money from endorsement deals and sponsorships," according to Mckay & Grammer of the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. New Mexico state Sen. Mark Moores said that he "envisions something similar to the first-in-the-nation law passed by California." Moores said that he "wants college athletes to be able to make money through endorsements and similar activities and to be able to accept equipment from sponsors, among other changes." It "isn't clear whether Moores' proposal will gain traction next year." The 30-day legislative session that starts in January is "generally limited to consideration of the budget and similar legislation." However, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Grisham is "empowered to add other topics or bills to the agenda in a 30-day session." Her office "didn't commit one way or another on the bill" (ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, 10/3).
WORTH A THOUGHT: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said that he is "open to" allowing college athletes to get paid for their name, image and likeness. He said that doing so "wasn't a top priority, but he's been troubled by the fact that student-athletes are left out of the NCAA's lucrative profits." In St. Paul, Christopher Magan notes at least two Minnesota House members have "expressed interest in debating how Minnesota could compensate collegiate playmakers." For now, "definitive legislative action feels like a bit of a Hail Mary." Walz: "It is worth exploring" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/3). A Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER editorial states that North Carolina lawmakers "should follow California's lead and pass a law that allows college athletes to receive money for the use of their names, images and likenesses." It would "correct an injustice" and it "won't bring doomsday for college sports." The NCAA is "readying to fight the law in court, but its case is not strong." Should enough states "pass NIL bills, the NCAA will have to bow to the reality that the college sports landscape has profoundly changed" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/3). ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said, “I don't know if we're going down a good path when individual states and governors get involved in trying to win constituents over by, ‘I'm fighting for the players.’ I just don't think that is probably in our best interest. I agree with the concept but would like to probably see it more universal across the whole country" (“Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio, 10/3).
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SOUTH: ESPN's Bomani Jones said of Florida possibly being close to passing a NIL bill similar to California, "It resonates a little differently. When liberal California does this, it's one thing. When you come right in the middle of the SEC and ACC, now we're talking about something else." The Florida law could go into effect sometime in '20, if passed, while California's will become law in '23. Jones: "Now we're talking about something interesting." He added, "I don't think necessarily this is going to change the world in the ways that people think, but it is going to force people to address some things on a schedule they weren't ready for." ESPN's Pablo Torre said this is "telling all of us that this issue is actually more bipartisan than any of us might have anticipated" and this has "across-the-aisle kind of unity that speaks to a principle that actually is an issue you can campaign on" ("High Noon," ESPN, 10/2).
NATIONAL HEADLINE: ESPN.com's Dan Murphy noted U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) is "planning to propose a new national law to give college athletes the opportunity to make endorsement money." Gonzalez said that he "wants to create legislation that gives athletes the chance to make money while also setting up some way to protect athletes" from what he "described as 'bad actors.'" Ohio State AD Gene Smith is expected to report on a working group's recommendations to the NCAA BOG at the end of this month, and Gonzalez "plans to wait to draft his legislation until after Smith makes his recommendation to the NCAA." Gonzalez, a former Ohio State football player, said that he has "examined the issue with his staff in the past, but their conversation 'kicked into gear' after California passed its new law Monday" (ESPN.com, 10/2). ESPN Radio's Stephen A. Smith said Ohio State's Smith is speaking on "behalf of the NCAA" and "it's like they used him as a stooge to go out there and speak against this bill" ("The Stephen A. Smith Show," ESPN, 10/2). Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Jessie Balmert writes, "Don't expect Ohio to follow California's lead on paying student-athletes for their names, images and likenesses -- at least not right away." Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, "People who know a lot more about this than I do are going to have to kind of weigh in. This is not something that I'm planning on doing or recommending to the Legislature." No Ohio lawmakers have "introduced bills to legalize paying student-athletes to date" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/3).
COACH SPEAK: SMU men's basketball coach Tim Jankovich said, "I do believe it's not gonna affect hundreds and hundreds of kids, we're talking about the top, top one that somebody wants to endorse. ... That's the first thing, 'Oh my god everybody,' well no, not everybody is gonna pay someone for, I don't think" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/3). Minnesota men's basketball coach Richard Pitino said, "The biggest thing now is just getting everybody on the same page, getting all the states, getting the NCAA and getting everybody working together. The more we can get these guys -- I'm all for it" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/3). Wisconsin assistant football coach Jim Leonhard said, "If we think this is going to be passed in certain states and other states (not) and there is going to be a level playing field, we're all kidding ourselves. If the NCAA thinks that it is going to be allowed in certain places and not in others and we're not going to change any legislation, I'll believe it when I see it" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/3).