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Bill to allow college athletes to profit off name, likeness passes Senate committee

(Source: WAFB)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 8:52 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With no objections, a bill allowing college athletes to profit off their names and likeness passed in a Senate committee on Wednesday, May 12.

SB 60 by Sen. Patrick Connick (R-Marrero) will next head to the Senate floor for debate.

Today lawmakers reviewed a plan that would allow college athletes to profit off their names and likeness. This is a bill that Sen. Patrick Connick (R) wanted to bring before the legislature last year but due to COVID-19 and the complications that came with it, he decided to save it for this year. And with the momentum that it’s carrying at the moment, it seems like it stands a good chance.

“I feel great, I think it’s a great piece of legislation for the state and for the student-athletes in the state. I think it’s going to go a long way in transforming many lives hopefully for the better,” said Connick.

For years we’ve heard talk about college athletes being able to have their piece of the pie when it comes to companies and the universities they play for, making money off their names. Now, we might see that happen.

“It is a transformational action that will do more to college athletics than anything since Title IX,” said LSU Athletic Administrator Stephanie Rempe.

If things play out, the university won’t take any money away from what the athlete makes off their name. And they’ll be able to hire their own agents or attorneys to partner with sponsors without the university telling them who they can or can’t hire.

“Our job is to educate them. We cannot be involved when it comes to the student-athlete working with the entity that would pay them,” said Rempe.

Athletes won’t, however, be able to accept sponsors from anything having to do with gambling, tobacco, alcohol or any competitor of a school sponsor. So, if the school is partnered with Nike, the student could not be sponsored by a company like Adidas.

“The school has that oversight. The athletic director will have that control,” said Connick.

Sen. Camron Henry (R) of Metairie voiced concern about some athletes not having as much access to attorneys as other athletes would. Sen. Connick says sometimes things are just the way they are.

“You know that’s life. You got Drew Brees making a ton of money. My cousin is Harry Connick Jr. and he’s making millions of dollars while I’m doing this,” said Connick.

If the sponsor wanted the athlete to wear the school logo, they would need to work with the university to have rights to that logo.

“We’re really excited for this opportunity, not only for LSU but for every student-athlete in Louisiana,” said Rempe.

Almost every athletic department for each university in Louisiana is getting behind this bill and some of those at the capitol believe that it shouldn’t be long before it ends up on the governor’s desk. Since it passed out of committee with no objection, its next stop will be the Senate floor.

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