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CT Lawmakers Clear Way For College Athletes To Sign Endorsement Deals

College athletes in Connecticut can become the latest to receive compensation from endorsement deals.
College athletes in Connecticut can become the latest to receive compensation from endorsement deals. Photo Credit: Courtesy of UConnHuskies.com

Connecticut has become the latest state to pass legislation allowing college athletes to profit from their names, images, and likenesses.

Passed late on Tuesday, June 8 by the state Senate, college players will now have the ability to cash in on endorsements, content on social media, sponsorship deals, signatures, and personal appearances.

Previously, such deals had been prohibited by the NCAA. Connecticut becomes the 17th state to pass “NIL legislation” permitting student-athletes to profit beginning as of Wednesday, Sept. 1.

It now moves forward to Gov. Ned Lamont, who said he will review the bill before signing it into law.

“This bill really addresses an issue of basic fairness,” Sen. Derek Slap stated. “These students have helped the NCAA earn billions of dollars in sports broadcast fees, but until now they could not participate in any of that profit.

“It’s time to give our student-athletes in Connecticut the opportunity to make some money off of their name and their face and their talents,” he added. “A student who is talented in art or music can make money off of their name, so why not an athlete? We're fortunate to live in a state where our female athletes also have opportunities to benefit and that's just one more reason to celebrate its passage.”

In a statement, the University of Connecticut’s athletic department praised the approval of the legislation, which supersedes the current NCAA guidance on names and likeness.

The NCAA said last month that its Division I Council is expected to act on NIL-related legislative proposals during its June meeting. There are multiple pending proposals in Congress on the subject.

“We are grateful to the Connecticut General Assembly for its expeditious and bipartisan effort, which will result in UConn student-athletes having the ability to benefit from the expected evolution of name, image, and likeness restrictions," officials said.

"Connecticut is now in line with almost 20 other states on this matter and we once again would like to pass along our gratitude to the state House of Representatives and the state Senate for their leadership."

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