COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
Ohio is one step closer to allowing its college athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness.
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And it could be coming sooner rather than later.
On Monday, Ohio Senator (R-Miamisburg) Niraj Antani held a press conference alongside Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith announcing that he has introduced a bill that would make it legal for college athletes in the state to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. According to Antani, the bill would prohibit any school or intercollegiate athletic association from preventing a student from participating in athletics as a result of receiving such compensation and allow student-athletes to obtain professional representation and/or enter contracts for endorsement deals.
“As a student at The Ohio State University, I saw the hard work student athletes put into their academics and their sport. Not every student athlete has a scholarship and even for those that do, it may only cover their cost of attendance, leaving little left over for living expenses,” Antani said in a statement. “These college students should be able to benefit from their own name, image, and likeness. Most will not get endorsement deals from major shoe and apparel companies, but rather from their hometown businesses, such as an auto dealer or bookstore. My bill legalizes this in a safe and reasonable manner."
If passed, Antani's bill would go into effect July 1, 2021.
Ohio is just the latest state to introduce legislation that would allow college athletes to profit off of deals like endorsements since California did so in 2019. Earlier this month, the NCAA's Division I Council announced that it would act on legislative matters regarding name, image and likeness during its June 22-23 meeting in hopes of having nationwide standards in place by July 1.