New era for college student-athletes as NIL rules begin

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Today is the first day student-athletes can profit off their fame and celebrity.’

The NCAA has cleared the way with name, image and likeness rules.

“We’ve officially entered a new era of college athletics,” said Murray State Athletic Director Kevin Saal. He says the start of allowing college athletes to profit off their name and image is a significant change. The rules allow them to hire agents and be paid through either endorsements or activities unrelated to their sport. Saal says student athletes are becoming more aware of the process, and colleges need to be flexible as more laws go into place and more details are added.

“You saw the NCAA board of directors pass, just this past week, their stipulations as well. So, it’s going to be our responsibility to marry up the regulations of our state with the NCAA expectations,” said Saal.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order last week allowing for compensation, and puts Kentucky among the more than 20 states with laws in place. Lawmakers are still working on a bill for next year’s session, while watching how the initial start works out.

“What this gives us the opportunity to do is to continue to look at how things are playing out, both the executive order in Kentucky and the laws in other states. When we come into session next, it gives us the chance to fine tune and to have the best product possible,” said State Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Aric Holman, a former Owensboro High and Mississippi State basketball player. He also says past student athletes like him could have benefited if they were allowed.

“If this opportunity was there when I was in school, it would have been very beneficial because with the staff we had with the academic staff and our coaching staff, I think they would have lead us in the right direction to be successful on and off the floor,” Holman explained.

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