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Louisiana calls audible to update name, image and likeness law


Louisiana calls audible to update name, image and likeness law

Apr 19, 2024 | 5:25 pm ET
By Greg LaRose
Louisiana calls audible to update name, image and likeness law
Aneesah Morrow #24 of the LSU Tigers over Hannah Stuelke #45 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on April 01, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Student-athletes at Louisiana universities could be allowed to work with marketing representatives if lawmakers agree to update the state’s name, image and likeness (NIL) rules. It’s one of a few proposed tweaks to a law that has upended the revenue stream for collegiate athletics.

Sen. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, said the contents of Senate Bill 465 will allow schools, mainly LSU, to keep in with the rapidly evolving and highly competitive NIL space.

Marketing professionals were specifically included in the bill in order to link student-athletes with more money-making opportunities, the senator said. They’re distinct from agents, who typically represent the athletes in their dealings with professional organizations. 

The bill would also require athletes to disclose any NIL contract they sign worth $600 or more, the same income threshold for required reporting to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 1099, which is used for money earned from an individual or business that isn’t an employer. 

Talbot’s proposal would also change financial literacy classes to an annual requirement. Currently, student-athletes are only required to take a single class between their first and third academic years.

Colleges would also be allowed to provide resources on financial responsibility, business formation and marketing if Senate Bill 465 becomes law.

Winston Decuir, general counsel for the LSU System, accompanied Talbot when he presented his bill Wednesday to the Senate Committee on Education.

“You have a lot of athletes, especially female athletes, that have higher opportunities at the collegiate level than they do at the pro level,” Decuir said.

LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne has an NIL valuation of $2.6 million, tops among women college athletes.

Basketball standouts Caitlin Clark from the University of Iowa and LSU’s Angel Reese, both first-round picks in Monday’s WNBA draft, will sign contracts with their respective teams that are worth far less than money they’ve made in college through NIL deals.

College athletic departments are also seeing impacts to their financial bottom line as NIL becomes more prominent, Decuir said. Corporate sponsors that once put their dollars exclusively into universities are now splitting those investments between student-athletes and schools.

“It’s going to require universities to reallocate their expenses,” he said.

“NIL is going to change the business model of college athletics,” Decuir added, “and a lot of people view it as an equitable change.”