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Louisiana, Missouri Amend NIL Laws; South Carolina on Path to Suspend NIL Law

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

Louisiana and Missouri are the latest states in SEC territory to each amend their name, image, and likeness (NIL) law to permit college athletic departments to get more involved in NIL activities. South Carolina is on the path to suspend the state’s NIL law and is awaiting a decision by the governor.

Louisiana’s Amended NIL Law

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed the state’s amended NIL bill, Senate Bill 250, into law on June 15, 2022. The amended NIL law, which was unanimously approved by the Louisiana Senate in early June, became effective on June 10, 2022.

The amended NIL law removes restrictions on third-parties, such as collectives and boosters, paying athletes for use of their NIL and allows coaches and school personnel in Louisiana to also facilitate NIL deals for their student-athletes. The amended law also includes an exemption to the Public Records Law for contracts disclosed by an athlete to the school. This exemption likely allows collectives and other boosters to broker NIL deals with college athletes without the risk of the contract being publicly disclosed through a public records request.

Before the new law, legislators said the previous NIL law put LSU and other state schools in Louisiana at a competitive disadvantage on the recruiting trail.

Missouri’s Amended NIL Law

Missouri Governor Michael Parson signed Senate Bill 718 into law on June 16, 2022, which includes a provision that amends the state’s NIL law.

The new NIL provision allows schools and their representatives “to identify or otherwise assist with opportunities for a student-athlete to earn compensation from a third-party for the use of the student athlete’s name, image, likeness rights, or athletic reputation.”

The amended law also provides that schools cannot receive compensation for setting up NIL deals. Furthermore, coaches and school officials cannot serve as representation to student-athletes and cannot influence the student-athlete’s decision on the choice of representation. The school representatives also cannot attend meetings between the student-athletes and the third-parties where the student-athlete’s compensation is being negotiated or completed.

Finally, the Missouri legislature added a section that requires schools to provide financial literacy and time management programs for student-athletes.

The amended NIL law will not go into effect until August 28.

Shortly after Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 718, the University of Missouri announced in a press release that it will, among other things, launch a school-specific marketplace with Opendorse, establish an in-house team to oversee NIL activities, and create an NIL educational curriculum that will focus on experiential learning.

South Carolina on Path to Suspend NIL Law

South Carolina’s General Assembly ratified the state’s 2022-2023 fiscal year budget on June 16, 2022. The budget contains a provision that would suspend South Carolina’s NIL law for the fiscal year.

The budget now heads to Governor Henry McMaster’s desk. The Governor has until early next week to approve the budget and has a line-item veto to take out any part of the budget he does not like, including the NIL provision.

South Carolina’s NIL law currently prohibits a school from “directly or indirectly creat[ing] or facilitat[ing] compensation opportunities for the use of” a college athlete’s NIL. Also, the NIL law prohibits a school or “an entity with a purpose that includes supporting or benefiting [a school] or its athletic programs,” such as a collective, from “directly or indirectly compensat[ing] a current or prospective” college athlete for the use of their NIL.

Assuming the Governor does not veto the NIL provision, the suspension of South Carolina’s NIL law allows the state’s Power 5 schools—Clemson and the University of South Carolina—to stay competitive in recruiting. Also, colleges in South Carolina would now be able to facilitate NIL opportunities for their student-athletes.

Tennessee and Mississippi each recently amended their NIL law, as did Illinois, to allow schools to arrange NIL deals with third-parties for their student-athletes. To maintain competitiveness in recruiting, other states with restrictive NIL laws may look to amend their laws.

Ryan Whelpley is an Associate at Morse in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he is a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group and focuses on venture capital financings, M&A transactions, and general corporate work for start-up and emerging growth companies. He is a graduate of Albany Law School (2019) and Union College (2016). At Union, Ryan was a member and three-year captain of the Men’s Basketball Team. You can connect with him via Twitter (@Whelpley_Law) and LinkedIn.

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