NIL Incoming: Comparing State Laws and Proposed Legislation

*Updated 5/10/2021*

From the California State Capitol in Sacramento to the Florida’s in Tallahassee, no two state offices have garnered more attention on the topic of student-athletes’ name, image and likeness (NIL). In the fall of 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the “Fair Pay to Play Act” into law creating a domino-effect of subsequent state laws and proposals. Nine months later, the state of Florida passed their rendition on the topic under “Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation and Rights” with an effective date of July 1, 2021. 

Cue a legislative slew involving 40 different states (and counting). 

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Though many states have engaged in conversations surrounding student-athletes’ NIL rights, to date there are only 14 which have fully enacted legislation. In those states:

  • 23 Power 5 Schools (35.4% of all P5 schools)
  • 23 Group of 5 Schools (34.8% of all G5 schools)
  • 227 Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools (23.4% of all Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII schools)
  • Total of 273 schools (24.8% of all NCAA schools)
  • Additionally, 90.0% of all NCAA member institutions reside in states who have enacted or introduced (either in this session or previously) NIL legislation
  • Only five Power Five schools reside in states where NIL legislation has not been introduced

Even though each state has unique clauses of their own, the NIL-specific language has all been trending in relatively the same direction. Unless otherwise described, these are the “general characteristics” of NIL legislation referred to in this article:

  • Schools, Conferences, and Associations cannot limit a student-athlete’s ability to be compensated for their NIL
  • Student-athletes can receive professional representation if they are a registered agent in the state
  • Participation in NIL-related activities shall not impact a student-athlete’s athletic or scholarship eligibility
  • NIL agreements cannot be in conflict with existing team contracts
  • Schools, Conferences, and Associations cannot compensate a student-athlete for their NIL
  • Schools may restrict student-athletes from participating in vice industries

*This list is not intended to describe any specific state’s legislation, but rather paint a picture of a common bill for any given state.

We are now less than 60 days away from the pivotal July 1st effective date, so let’s take a look at the states which have enacted NIL legislation.

NIL legislation enacted into law

ALABAMA

Effective Date: July 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 3
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 14
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 19

In Short: A recent adoption, Alabama has included a significant amount of clarity in their legislation. Under this law, student-athletes are required to disclose any NIL agreement to their institution before any contract compensation or payment in advance is received. Additionally, any payment to student-athletes must be commensurate with the market value for their NIL. With the establishment of the Alabama Collegiate Athletics Commission (ACAC), rule development and regulations will be brought in-state in order to “maintain fairness and integrity” within college athletics. The ACAC may establish further recommendations related to NIL standards set forth in the act, detail the registration of athlete agents, as well as create an independent dispute resolution process. Although there is no direct mention of group licensing opportunities, student-athletes have the freedom to use institutional marks if they have received the appropriate permission from their school prior to executing the contract. 

Notable Provision: Under this law, institutions are required to provide financial literacy and life skills programming for student-athletes. While the ACAC will establish a clearer framework for these programs in the future, it is set to be centered around debt management, budgeting, time management and academic resources.

ARIZONA

Effective Date: Currently in Effect
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 2
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 4

In Short: The Arizona law is arguably the least disruptive to the current collegiate model as it essentially defers to any legislation set forth by the NCAA. Although it states institutions shall allow student-athletes to earn compensation for the use of their NIL, it is limited to the “extent allowed by the rules established by the relevant national association.” Nonetheless, the statute gives freedom to student-athletes in the area of legal representation for the purpose of navigating NIL endorsement opportunities at the pace set forth by the NCAA. 

Notable Provision: Naturally, while there are no major implications at this moment, Arizona has set its state laws to be fully permissive of NIL activities at the same rate as the NCAA. Unlike other state laws which could require adaptation if NCAA NIL proposals advance, Arizona’s law would likely avoid any preemption clause hang ups. 

ARKANSAS

Effective Date: January 1, 2022
Power 5 Schools in the State: 1
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 11
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 14

In Short: The most recent state to pass, Arkansas has signed into law one of the more standard bills among its peers. Under this law, student-athletes are free to receive professional representation and compensation for their NIL without fear of impact on athletic or scholarship eligibility. Disclosure for these transactions to an institution official is required by both the student-athlete and their representative within a time period set by the institution. Additionally, provisions have been set in place to avoid a student-athlete’s contract from taking the form of pay-for-play by prohibiting any contract from being attached to a student-athlete’s performance (or lack of performance) in a competition.  

Notable Provision: Though Arkansas’s new law has similar characteristics to other states, it very explicitly details prospective student-athletes, institutions, or representatives of a prospective student-athlete is prohibited to negotiate or receive compensation for their NIL prior to enrollment. 

CALIFORNIA

Effective Date: January 1, 2023
Power 5 Schools in the State: 4
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 3
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 50
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 57

In Short: The grandfather of state NIL legislation, California made national headlines in 2019 when Senate Bill 206 was signed into law. This law set the grounds for many states to follow by outlining student-athletes’ freedom to be compensated for their NIL and receive professional representation. Student-athletes’ NIL activity remains compliant with state laws so long as they do not receive payment from an association, conference, or school, agree to complete endorsement activities during official team activities, or conflict with existing team contracts. Additionally, contractual agreements must be disclosed to a designated institutional official. Similar to Arkansas, this law expressly prohibits prospective student-athletes from participating in NIL related endorsement activity.

Notable Provision: This law established a community college NIL working group focused to study NIL proposals that would later be applied to the state community college system.

COLORADO

Effective Date: January 1, 2023
Power 5 Schools in the State: 1
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 13
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 16

In Short: The state of Colorado adopted a fairly brief law which covers many of the same bases of the other states. Along with standard provisions permitting student-athlete NIL participation and protection of eligibility and scholarships, student-athletes must comply with existing team contracts and complete NIL agreement terms outside of official team activities.

Notable Provision: Colorado has created a distinct framework for the disclosure process. Under this law, student-athletes or their legal representative are required to disclose any NIL agreement to the athletic director of their institution within 72 hours after the student-athlete has entered into the contract or before the next scheduled competition, whichever comes first. If a violation occurs, the institution must disclose each relevant contract term in conflict. 

FLORIDA

Effective Date: July 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 3
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 4
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 20
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 27

In Short: Taking the role of the national pace-setter, Florida’s effective date has set the earliest standard in the country of July 1, 2021, only to be matched by others. Under their law, all NIL-related payments to student-athletes must be commensurate with market value and come from third parties unaffiliated with student-athlete’s institution. These transactions will be disclosed with the institution’s athletic department in their designated manner. While student-athletes are free to receive professional representation, any contract related to their representative or the use of their NIL may not extend beyond their participation at an institution. As with others, student-athletes’ participation in NIL-related activity shall not impact their athletic or scholarship eligibility. 

Notable Provisions: Florida has a handful of intricacies worthy of noting. First, institutions must require their student-athletes to take five hours of a financial literacy, life skills, and time management workshop at the beginning of their first and third academic years. Secondly, although not a provision of this law specifically, because of Florida’s income tax policy, student-athletes will not be taxed on any NIL-related income. Lastly, the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education will adopt regulations surrounding additional licensure requirements of agents. 

GEORGIA

Effective Date: July 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in State: 2
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 27
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 31

In Short: Georgia’s newest law, despite one provision which has garnered significant media coverage, covers many of the common NIL proposal bases: agents for NIL activities are permissible, student-athletes will not be adversely impacted in terms of eligibility or scholarships, the usual. Georgia legislators included a requirement for disclosure, however it will fall on the discretion of the institution to determine the means of submission. Additionally, it is noted that NIL activities must be commensurate with fair market value. This statute also requires institutions to provide financial literacy and life skills programming for first- and third-year student-athletes.

Notable Provision: As previously alluded to, Georgia attracted the eyes of many when this bill was signed into law stating team contracts may provide for pooling arrangements of student-athlete NIL earnings. An anomaly of a provision when compared with other state proposals, this note allows for team contracts to require up to 75% of compensation earned by student-athletes to be secured in an escrow account in a bank, which would later be disbursed to student-athletes who had graduated or withdrawn from the institution for over one year.

MICHIGAN

Effective Date: December 31, 2022
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 3
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 20
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 25

In Short: Michigan’s legislation includes most all of the same opportunities and protections for student-athletes as other states in the areas of permissible NIL activities, agent involvement, and conflict of interest. Under this statute, student-athletes in the state must disclose any NIL contract at least 7 days prior to agreement for review by the institution. In addition, if the institution identifies a conflict between the proposed opportunity with any existing agreements of the institution or team, the school must communicate the conflict so that the student-athlete can negotiate a revision of the contract. Two other areas of emphasis are that this act does not give student-athletes the right to use marks or intellectual property of the institution and it does not require the institution to “identify, create, facilitate, negotiate, or otherwise enable opportunities” for a student-athlete.

Notable Provision: Unlike other laws which require NIL agreements to comply with team contracts, Michigan’s legislation states a team contract shall not restrict a student-athlete from using their NIL for endorsement opportunities outside of official team activities. 

MISSISSIPPI

Effective Date: July 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 8
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 11

In Short: Mississippi’s recent adoption of NIL legislation comes with great detail on each of the main aspects. Beginning with logos and apparel, this act does not restrict an institution’s sole discretion of controlling their student-athletes’ wearables and school marks during a sponsored event. Under this law, all NIL transactions must be commensurate with the market value and are required to be disclosed to the institution within 3 days of the agreement or 3 calendar days before the next scheduled competition, whichever occurs first. While current student-athletes are free to participate without revocation of athletic or scholarship eligibility, prospective student-athletes are expressly prohibited prior to enrollment. Lastly, the Mississippi legislators made a point to restrict student-athletes from participating in vice industries such as alcohol, drug, adult entertainment, gambling, or others inconsistent with institutional values. 

Notable Provision: The only state to address concerns of donor involvement, Mississippi made a point to note any booster of an institution is prohibited from providing NIL compensation to current or prospective student-athletes as a form of inducement for their attendance at a specific institution or group of institutions. 

MONTANA

Effective Date: June 1, 2023
Power 5 Schools in the State: 0
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 3
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 3

In Short: Montana legislators pushed forward at the end of the 2021 session to become the latest state to adopt NIL policy into law. Very similar to the general NIL bill structure of other states, Montana includes protection for student-athlete’s eligibility and scholarships. This statute also requires student-athletes to disclose NIL activities to designated institutional officials. Despite having a later effective date than most, Montana has placed itself ahead of the curve for student-athlete support.

Notable Provision: This law includes a direct provision allowing for institutions to use a student-athlete’s NIL, prohibit a student-athlete’s participation in NIL activities on campus, or serve as an agent for managing contracts which belong to the student-athlete.

NEBRASKA

Effective Date: July 1, 2023 (all schools must apply the act)
Power 5 Schools in the State: 1
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 6
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 7

In Short: Despite being an early adopter of legislation, the details of Nebraska’s law are relatively synonymous to other states. In Nebraska, student-athletes cannot be restricted by the institution, conference, or association in regard to NIL endorsement opportunities, given that contractual agreements are compliant with existing team contracts and completed outside of official team activities. Upon entering into an NIL related contract, student-athletes or their registered representative must disclose the information to an institutional official in writing. An additional provision prohibits student-athletes from entering into a contract which would require them to display a logo or advertisement during official team activities. 

Notable Provision: Nebraska’s most unique provision allows institutions to set their own effective date. Requiring institutions to apply this act by July 1, 2023, schools have the freedom to open NIL endorsement activity to their student-athletes as early as today. 

NEW JERSEY

Effective Date: August 1, 2025
Power 5 Schools in the State: 1
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 26
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 27

In Short: New Jersey’s act has the latest effective date by far out of any states who have enacted or even proposed legislation. Furthermore, the provisions set forth have remained consistent with the others regarding student-athlete NIL capabilities and representation opportunities. While scholarships and eligibility cannot be revoked and NIL compensation offerings cannot be in the form of recruitment inducement, student-athletes are restricted from participating in endorsements which conflict with traditional values of higher education. Disclosure of such activity will be designated by the institution’s athletic department.

Notable Provision: New Jersey legislators went into close detail on prohibited industries related to alcohol, drugs, gambling, adult entertainment, pharmaceuticals, and weapons, including but not limited to firearms and ammunition. The latter remark is of particular concern for student-athletes competing in collegiate rifle. 

NEW MEXICO

Effective Date: July 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 0
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 3
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 5

In Short: In New Mexico, most all of the common state rules on NIL apply – schools cannot restrict student-athletes, NIL agreements must comply with team contracts, and participation in such activities shall not impact the status or scholarships of a student-athlete. Registered agents or legal representatives for the student-athlete, however, cannot have represented an institution within the previous four years.

Notable Provision: An interesting note in this law states a school cannot prohibit or discourage a student-athlete from wearing footwear of the student-athlete’s choice during official, mandatory team activities so long as the footwear does not have reflective fabric, lights, or pose a health risk to the student athlete.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Effective Date: July 1, 2022
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 24
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 27

In Short: South Carolina’s legislation, much like Georgia, follows the common trail of previously passed legislation. As for financial advising and agent involvement, student-athletes are free to utilize them in a compliant manner. NIL activities in general will be reported by the student-athlete or representative of the student-athlete to the athletic director or their preferred method. Additionally, student-athletes are not to be restricted by associations, conferences, or institutions for the use of their NIL.

Notable Provision: Expressly written to prevent NIL participation from making its way into the recruiting space, associations, conferences, and institutions are prohibited from providing payment to prospective student-athletes.

Legislation to watch

After tracking each state’s NIL bills, there are a few which appear to be on the verge of passing into law. While each state is on their own session calendar and follows their own respective process for Governor approval, these bills are anticipated to pass within the next month. 

KANSAS

Status: Received committee recommendation for passage
Effective Date: January 1, 2022
Power 5 Schools in the State: 2
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 5
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 8

Key Provision: Legislators in Kansas, unlike most other states, have taken the liberty to address both the trending use of a student-athlete’s NIL for personal opportunities, as well as the existing ability of institutions to use their student-athlete’s NIL for miscellaneous advertising and promotions at their own discretion.

MARYLAND

Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature
Effective Date: July 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 1
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 19
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 20

Key Provision: Maryland’s mirrors much of other states’ legislation, but does not expressly address disclosure processes for transactions.

TEXAS

Status: Passed in House, in Senate Committee Process
Effective Date: September 1, 2021
Power 5 Schools in the State: 5
Group of 5 Schools in the State: 8
Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 24
Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 53

Key Provisions: This bill, similar to Alabama, Florida and Georgia’s, requires institutions to provide student-athletes with financial literacy education.

States with legislation proposed in current or previous session

To date, 26 states have introduced legislation related to NIL in this session or a previous congressional session. Though it is relatively difficult to track bills as they float through the committee process, there is a common understanding that state activity will continue to rise as July 1 approaches.

CONNECTICUT

Proposal: Senate Bill 306 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: July 1, 2023

Power 5 Schools in the State: 0

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 19

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 20

HAWAII

Proposal: House Bill 1682 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: January 1, 2021

Power 5 Schools in the State: 0

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 4

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 4

ILLINOIS

Proposal: Senate Bill 2516

Effective Date: January 1, 2024

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 36

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 39

IOWA

Proposal: Senate File 386 (formerly SF 245)

Effective Date: July 1, 2021

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 14

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 16

KENTUCKY

Proposal: Senate Bill 249

Effective Date: July 1, 2023

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 11

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 14

LOUISIANA

Proposal: Senate Bill 60

Effective Date: July 1, 2021

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 4

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 9

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 14

MASSACHUSETTS

Proposal: Senate Docket 2127

Effective Date: January 1, 2022

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 53

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 55

MINNESOTA

Proposal: Senate File 2995 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: January 1, 2024

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 29

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 30

MISSOURI

Proposal: House Bill 1564 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: July 1, 2021

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 22

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 23

NEVADA

Proposal: Assembly Bill 254

Effective Date: October 1, 2021

Power 5 Schools in the State: 0

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 0

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 2

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Proposal: House Bill 1505 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: July 1, 2022

Power 5 Schools in the State: 0

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 10

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 10

NEW YORK

Proposal: Senate Bill 4711

Effective Date: January 1, 2023

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 99

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 102

NORTH CAROLINA

Proposal: Senate Bill 324

Effective Date: January 1, 2024

Power 5 Schools in the State: 4

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 3

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 39

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 46

OKLAHOMA

Proposal: House Bill 1994

Effective Date: January 1, 2022

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 12

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 15

OREGON

Proposal: Senate Bill 5

Effective Date: July 1, 2021

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 8

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 10

PENNSYLVANIA

Proposal: House Bill 632

Effective Date: Takes effect 60 days after signing

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 94

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 97

RHODE ISLAND

Proposal: House Bill 5082

Effective Date: January 1, 2022

Power 5 Schools in the State: 0

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 8

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 8

TENNESSEE

Proposal: House Bill 1242

Effective Date: July 1, 2023

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 21

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 25

VERMONT

Proposal: Senate Bill 328 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: January 1, 2023

Power 5 Schools in the State: 0

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 7

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 7

VIRGINIA

Proposal: House Bill 300 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: July 1, 2024

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 2

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 33

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 37

WASHINGTON

Proposal: House Bill 1084 (proposed in previous session)

Effective Date: January 1, 2023

Power 5 Schools in the State: 2

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 11

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 13

WEST VIRGINIA

Proposal: House Bill 2583

Effective Date: No effective date mentioned

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 1

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 15

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 17

WISCONSIN

Proposal: Joint Resolution 147

Effective Date: (Resolution states it will take action if the NCAA does not)

Power 5 Schools in the State: 1

Group of 5 Schools in the State: 0

Non-P5/G5, DII or DIII Schools in the State: 29

Total NCAA Institutions in the State: 30

No known activity

There is a small selection of states which have yet to introduce NIL legislation, and only 5 Power Five schools reside in these states, with their total NCAA membership impact accounting for roughly 10%. The states are:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

What this means moving forward

With the ever present Alston v. NCAA verdict awaiting and federal proposals in the hopper, the legislative craze is expected to continue. In the scenario of delayed federal intervention, it will be crucial for both compliance staff and student-athletes to understand the details of their respective state laws. As the July 1 date continues to loom overhead, the unfavorable “patchwork” of state laws is becoming significantly more real of an outcome, at least in the early life of this new collegiate NIL world. 

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