The number of states supporting the growing effort to secure legal rights for student-athletes to market their name, image, and likeness for economic benefit without affecting either their scholarship benefits or amateur status continues to grow. Legislators from Minnesota and Georgia have announced that they intend to introduce legislation at their state’s next legislative session to mirror California Senate Bill 206. They will be joining the states of Florida, New York and South Carolina in an effort to follow California’s lead as additional states authorizing student-athletes to use their unique position to secure financial rewards from their name, image, and likeness.

In Minnesota, State Senator Roger Chamberlin announced that he has drafted a bill mirroring the California law. Specifically, Senator Chamberlin’s legislation, which will be formally introduced at the start of the next Minnesota state legislative session on February 11, 2020, would let collegiate athletes accept compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness and permit them to retain licensed agents to represent them without risking their athletic scholarships.

Senator Chamberlin said he introduced the bill as a matter of fairness to the athletes who have missed out on potential earnings as their universities and the NCAA profit off of their likenesses.

“Colleges and the NCAA have been getting rich off these players. It shouldn’t just be these institutions making all of the money,” Senator Chamberlin commented.

He added, “That’s the core of this.” As currently proposed, Senator Chamberlin’s bill has an effective date of January 1, 2024.

In Georgia, State Representative Billy Mitchell has announced that he also intends to introduce legislation in the Georgia General Assembly that would be modeled after California’s legislation and allow college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness. He intends to introduce the bill at the beginning of the state’s next legislative session in January 2020.

Representative Mitchell commented, “With this legislation, Georgia joins a rapidly growing number of states that have filed similar legislation, or, are in the process of doing so.” Rep. Mitchell added,

“Not only is this an idea whose time has come, but Georgia schools would be at a decisive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting with other states that join California in implementing this act if we fail to do the same

Jackson Lewis’ Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group will continue to monitor proposed legislation as it is either discussed or introduced around the country. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group with questions.

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Photo of Gregg E. Clifton Gregg E. Clifton

Gregg E. Clifton is a Principal in the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group and serves as the editor of the firm’s sports law blog.

Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in…

Gregg E. Clifton is a Principal in the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group and serves as the editor of the firm’s sports law blog.

Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. He has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues. He serves as lead counsel for several Major League Baseball teams in their salary arbitration matters and has represented NCAA and NAIA collegiate clients regarding rules compliance, investigatory matters and in disciplinary hearings. In addition, he has handled Title IX investigations and compliance issues for NCAA and NAIA member institutions. Mr. Clifton has also worked extensively in the area of agent regulation and enforcement in professional and college sports and regularly provides counsel on issues relating to NCAA and NAIA amateurism issues and athlete eligibility questions. He has also served as an expert witness in matters involving sports agents’ work and responsibilities, as well as athlete compensation issues.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, he spent six years as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Team Sports for Gaylord Sports Management. He also served as President of the Athlete and Entertainment Division for famed sports attorney Bob Woolf’s firm, Woolf Associates, in Boston.

Mr. Clifton began his career as an Associate at Jackson Lewis where he focused his practice on traditional labor law. He continues to counsel clients in the areas of collective bargaining negotiations, representation cases, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board matters.

Mr. Clifton frequently serves as an expert speaker to law schools, including Harvard University, Boston College, Hofstra University and Arizona State University, and bar associations regarding sports law issues, including agent regulation and salary arbitration. He is also often cited as an expert source in national news media for his commentary and opinion on legal issues in sports.