Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Bill Allowing Student-Athletes to Profit off NIL

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 15, 2021

With state Rep. Chris Paddie, left, and state Sen. Kelly Hancock, right, looking on, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, center, signs two energy related bills, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Abbot signed legislation into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a bill Monday that will allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness in the state.

"I'm thrilled to hear that Gov. Abbott signed the Texas NIL bill into law," said Rep. Matt Krause, a co-sponsor of the bill. "This legislation will ensure Texas college athletes receive fair compensation for their efforts and prowess on the field, court and everywhere they display their talents."

Texas is the 19th state to enact a NIL law. Increasing support across the nation for college athletes making money off their name and likeness has forced the NCAA into both complying with state laws and enacting new NIL rules of its own.

Athletes in the state of Texas can begin profiting off their name and likeness July 1. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico also have laws going into place on the same date, along with Arizona on July 23. The laws in other states begin in 2022 or later.

The NCAA is set to vote on a national NIL rule in June. If passed as expected, the new rule would allow players nationwide to make money off their likeness, regardless of whether their state has a law in place. State law would supersede any NCAA ruling in the unlikely event new NIL rules do not pass, giving states with laws in place a competitive advantage.

Adjustments to the NCAA's stance on likeness rules as been a long time coming. College sports has blossomed into a business that rakes in billions on an annual basis, lining the pockets of coaches and athletic department officials at the expense of unpaid athletes.

While NIL adjustments are not the same as a salary, it is a necessary change that may help quell some of the loudest criticisms against the NCAA. College athletes have value; these laws will allow them to capitalize on what could be a finite window of athletic excellence.