Kansas Joins List of States with a Proposed Bill to Allow College Athletes to Be Paid for the Use of Their Names, Images, and Likenesses

Kansas Joins List of States with a Proposed Bill to Allow College Athletes to Be Paid for the Use of Their Names, Images, and Likenesses

Joining 28 other states, Kansas now has a pending bill that would allow college athletes at Kansas colleges and universities to be compensated for the use of their names, images, and likenesses (NILs) and their athletic reputation.  Similar to the other pending bills and the law passed last year in California, Kansas’ bill (Senate Bill 474) prevents the NCAA or any other athletic association from restricting a college athlete’s ability to monetize his or her NIL.  The bill also prevents the NCAA and other athletic associations from limiting a university’s participation in intercollegiate athletes as a result of an athlete being compensated for his or her NIL or athletic reputation.

There are some limits built into the bill.  A university itself would not be able to compensate a current or prospective college athlete for the use of his or her NIL. Only third parties, such as local or national businesses, would be allowed to pay the athletes.  In addition, the bill prohibits college athletes from entering into contracts that would conflict with provisions of a contract entered into by their university.  For example, if a university has a Nike contract that requires its athletic teams to wear Nike uniforms and shoes, an athlete could not enter into a contract that required him or her to wear Under Armour shoes during games.

Another interesting aspect of the Kansas bill is a section that deems college athletes to have granted a royalty-free license for the use of their NILs to their university.  The universities would then have the right to use the athlete’s NIL at any time for its advertising and marketing related to the university’s “athletic, academic, promotional and historical interests.”  Under this section of the bill, any provision in a contract between a college athlete and a third party that is in conflict with the royalty-free license provision is null and void.

Finally, the bill also would allow college athletes to hire attorneys to assist them with contracts and other legal matters relating to the monetization of their NILs and athletic reputation.

Kansas’ bill has a unique provision relating to its effective date. If passed, Kansas’ law would not be effective until after fifteen other states have passed similar bills.  In that event, Kansas’ law would take effect after July 1.

More About Kennyhertz Perry’s Collegiate Sports Practice Group

A college athlete’s need for an experienced attorney has never been higher.  From assistance with eligibility, scholarship, and transfer issues, to advice and representation relating to the newly emerging name, image, and likeness laws and legislation, college athletes often need an attorney to advocate on their behalf and to assist and advise on these types of issues during an important time in their life.

The team at Kennyhertz Perry is uniquely suited to guide college athletes through all of these types of issues with respect to the multitude of rules and laws set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHSAA).

The attorneys at Kennyhertz Perry all have years of experience advocating for clients in high stakes matters and advising them on related issues.  In addition, and most importantly, attorney Mit Winter is a former Division I scholarship basketball player with extensive experience working on collegiate athletics legal matters.  Mit has first-hand experience in understanding the pressures and demands faced by college athletes both on and off the field, and has represented a number of sports-related clients in his practice, including the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, the NCAA, and the NFL.

Mit is widely regarded as an expert in collegiate sports law and frequently writes on these legal issues.  He is also the founder and chairman of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Sports and Entertainment Law Committee and serves as a Regional Captain in the states of Kansas and Missouri for the Sports Lawyers Association’s (“SLA”) Outreach Committee.

Kennyhertz Perry’s college sports practice provides representation to those who are seeking an attorney with expertise to advise them on the myriad legal concerns prevalent in college athletics today.  To learn more about the firm, visit kennyhertzperry.com.

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