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Whitmer signs bills allowing Michigan collegiate athletes to receive compensation for their image

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 16:29:49-05

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) — Michigan collegiate athletes will soon be able to make money off their names. Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation allowing student athletes to use their own name, likeness, image and reputation for financial compensation.

“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,” said Governor Whitmer. “

This marks the first time in Michigan history that collegiate athletes will have the opportunity to financially benefit from the countless hours they commit to their sport while attending school.

“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, former running back with the Detroit Lions and Wayne State University.

The bills allow players from any sport in all divisions to use agents to earn money from their own image, name, or likeness.

"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,” said Whitmer. “I am hopeful that the NCAA will set a national standard so that all players across the country are afforded the same opportunities.”

“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. Working two jobs, going to school full time, playing football and raising my son is a lot for any person, especially financially. My story is just one of many for collegiate student athletes,” said Bell.

Students cannot enter into an apparel contract that conflicts with the apparel contracts of their school, and must disclose contracts to their school prior to signing. The bills do not establish the right for students to use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property, and logos of schools, associations, or conferences.

The bill will take effect on December 31, 2022.