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Alabama House passes repeal bill for “restrictive” NIL law for student-athletes

The NCAA now allows student-athletes to receive monetary compensation for usage of their name, image, and likeness.

An Auburn University football game.

The Alabama House voted Tuesday in favor of repealing a previously enacted law related to college athletes’ usage of their name, image, and likeness, for monetary compensation.

The repeal does not restrict student-athletes in Alabama from earning off their name, image, and likeness, but prevents state law from restricting that allowance under current NCAA policy. The NCAA now allows student-athletes to receive monetary compensation for usage of their name, image, and likeness.

The measure passed the House 97-1.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette, comes in lieu of an NCAA decision made last year giving student-athletes the opportunity to earn from their NIL, a significant first-time allowance from the association that had previously restricted NIL usage from athletes.

That policy shift from the NCAA came after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June of 2021. The court decided that the association violated antitrust law by placing education-related benefit caps on student-athletes.

On the House floor Tuesday, South said the policy shift from the NCAA makes the previously passed legislation related to NIL — which went into effect 3 days after the NCAA decision — more restrictive than the newly decided policy from the NCAA, placing collegiate programs and athletes in Alabama at a disadvantage.

“When we were in session last year, we were under the assumption that the NCAA would allow state law to prevail,” South said. “In the case that we did nothing, then our student-athletes may or may not have been able to use the NIL and be compensated for name, image, and likeness. So we adopted a set of standards. Later in the summer, the NCAA went back and adopted their own set of standards that are less restrictive than what we adopted back in the spring.”

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According to the Montgomery Advertiser, the University of Alabama and Auburn University both released statements supporting the bill’s passage.

The bill now moves to the Senate for final passage.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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