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Monday, March 2, 2020

KU’s AD to testify in support of state bill legalizing student-athlete compensation

University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long is pictured in this Feb. 2, 2019, file photo.

University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long is pictured in this Feb. 2, 2019, file photo.

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University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long will testify Wednesday in Topeka in favor of state legislation that would allow student athletes to be paid for use of their name, image and likeness.

Kansas lawmakers will take the first step in joining a growing number of states entering the complicated world of paying student athletes while also maintaining the amateur status of those athletes.

The legislation under consideration, Senate Bill 474, makes clear, though, that the Sunflower State wants to follow the national pack rather than be a leader on the issue; the bill would only take effect if 15 other states pass similar legislation first.

“States across the country continue to pursue legislation related to Name, Image, and Likeness. Senate Bill 474 does not intend to put Kansas universities in the forefront of this evolving policy matter, but rather simply seeks to ensure Kansas student-athletes aren’t disadvantaged relative to their peers in other states,” said KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson in an email.

Barcomb-Peterson confirmed to the Journal-World that both KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Long support the bill in its current form. Girod testified before a U.S. Senate Committee in February that KU would support federal efforts to pay student athletes for their name, image and likeness.

Under Kansas’ proposed legislation, a university like KU would be unable to create a rule that prohibits a student-athlete from earning money for the use of his or her name, image or likeness, and also states that if an athlete does earn money, that compensation can’t be counted against the athlete’s eligibility for a scholarship.

The bill also dictates that the colleges and their respective athletic departments are not able to pay athletes for their name, image or likeness. Where the freedom to earn that money comes from is in the athlete’s ability to negotiate with third-party entities that partner with an athlete to promote a product, such as video game companies or apparel companies.

Student athletes could also be represented by a certified agent or attorney for any negotiations with a third-party entity — free from any interference by the university or its athletic department, as long as the third-party contract doesn’t violate any standing agreement those departments have with another company.

If a student athlete entered into a third-party contract, he or she would have to disclose the contract to a school official within five days of signing it.

Kansas is one of at least 15 other states to introduce a similar bill, according to a Journal-World analysis. It’s unclear, however, how many states have actually passed name, image, likeness legislation. Also unclear is where federal legislation on the same issue stands.

Wednesday’s hearing will be before the Senate Commerce Committee at 8:30 a.m. at the Kansas Capitol.

Comments

Benjamin Shear 9 months ago

Good. Let the players figure this stuff out on their own.

Dane Pratt 9 months ago

Hopefully athletes will no longer need to do under the table deals with shoe companies

Brian Wilson 9 months ago

A can of worms!

And the end of amatuer school sports! Once Nike or Addidas is able to write these contracts then they will be telling the players where to go play. If you don't think these companies won't demand the players go to the school where they tell them to you're kidding yourselves. So whoever pays the players the highest gets to create the best team and send them all to the same school. It won't be long and there will be another string of championships just like UCLA.

Benjamin Shear 9 months ago

I think it's great! This is already going on. Now it will be in the open. Who knows, maybe those players can just go pro or to an actual development league! Right now the NCAA is the D league with everyone making money except the players. The NCAA is a monopoly and speaks out of both sides of its mouth. ESPN, CBS, Conferences, Universities, and apparel companies all make millions on the backs of these so-called 'student' athletes.

John Pritchett 9 months ago

"...colleges and their respective athletic departments are not able to pay athletes for their name, image or likeness. Where the freedom to earn that money comes from is in the athlete’s ability to negotiate with third-party entities that partner with an athlete to promote a product, such as video game companies or apparel companies."

Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

Why are we even pretending at this point that college athletics has anything to do with education? But we shouldn't be surprised. These days the colleges themselves have little to do with education.

Dane Pratt 9 months ago

When has college athletics ever been about education? Student-Athlete is an invention by colleges to get free labor.

Blake Brown 9 months ago

My bet is Long will not opt to cut them in on the income derived from the contract with ESPN+.

Pius Waldman 9 months ago

I believe the ESPN+ agreement is with the Big 12 not KU

Michael Leiker 9 months ago

I dislike this entirely but I do hope the spirit squad members in the Nissan ad are getting paid...Big Jay too

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