Gov. Lee signs bill allowing Tenn. college athletes to be paid for likeness, use of name


File-This Nov. 10, 2020, file photo shows Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks with reporters in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – College athletes in Tennessee will soon be able to be paid for the use of their names and likenesses.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed House Bill 1351, which states “An intercollegiate athlete at an institution may earn compensation for the use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness.”

Lee signed the bill, commonly referred to as the “Name, Image, and Likeness” law on Tuesday, May 11 following an amendment to the bill that clarified terms used in the legislation.

The bill states that any athletes whose likeness is used must be appropriately compensated.

“Such compensation must be commensurate with the fair market value of the authorized use of the athlete’s name, image, or likeness,” according to the bill.

All compensation must come from a third party, not the school an athlete attends.

The bill also includes measures saying that institution officials and entities dedicated to supporting a college are prohibited from paying or causing the payment of a college athlete.

The bill states that a “grant-in-aid” given to a student for athletics, which could include the cost of attending a school, is not considered compensation.

Athletes must inform their school of any agreements and terms if they are going to be paid for the use of their name or likeness.

The bill also states athletes and their likeness cannot be involved in promotions for gambling, tobacco, alcohol and adult entertainment.

Under the signed bill, college athletes may also be represented by a third party, which could include an “athlete agent.”

Universities and colleges are also required to host a “financial literacy workshop for intercollegiate athletes during the athlete’s first full-time term of enrollment.” The bill states that the workshop must educate athletes in getting paid, budgeting and debt management.

The law will take effect on January 1, 2022.

You can read the full signed bill below:

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