College athletes can obtain compensation in Michigan under new law

Players can seek pay for use of their personal name, image, likeness and reputation
It was hard enough before the pandemic to get recruited for college athletics, but now that the...
It was hard enough before the pandemic to get recruited for college athletics, but now that the world of college sports has been turned upside down it has become even more difficult.
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:26 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - College athletes in Michigan can obtain financial compensation from their play for the first time under a new law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed on Wednesday.

The law allows student athletes to seek payment for use of their name, image, likeness and reputation built during their collegiate athletic career. Michigan is among the first states to pass similar legislation.

“For years we have all enjoyed the incredible talent of young athletes across the state. This legislation will change the lives of young men and women for years to come,” Whitmer said. “As only the second state in the nation to pass this historic legislation, I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation today on behalf of our current and future student athletes.”

She hopes the NCAA sets a national standard for payment of student athletes nationwide.

“It’s high time that collegiate players are respected and compensated for the talents that they’ve spent their entire lives trying to perfect,” said Joique Bell, a former running back with the Detroit Lions and Wayne State University. “I’ve always supported the efforts to protect the best interests of athletes, especially those with tremendous abilities who play at all levels of the NCAA.”

He worked two jobs while attending college full time and raising a son, which he said was difficult to manage.

“My story is just one of many for collegiate student athletes,” Bell said. “We need to continually find ways to help student athletes get ahead and build their brands early, while also protecting the players and the integrity of the sport.”

Student athletes will be allowed to work with agents to earn money from their name, image and likeness. However, athletes cannot enter into an apparel or shoe sponsorship in conflict with their school.

Student athletes also cannot use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property or logos of their schools and organizations to seek personal compensation.

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