Legislation would allow student athletes to sign advertising contracts

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Senator Brian Kelsey and Rep. Antonio Parkinson filed legislation this week allowing athletes to benefit from the use of their image, name and likeness.

If passed, the legislation would allow college athletes to enter into advertising contracts with local businesses and companies.

“It’s time we treat college athletes like everyone else in America and allow them to earn money in the free market,” said Kelsey. “The NCAA and our state universities make billions of dollars off college athletes, and it is unfair not to allow the athletes themselves to profit from their own names and faces.”

Universities will still not be allowed to pay the student athletes themselves. The legislation also stipulates that the universities cannot discriminate against players based on donations by the coaches.

“This is a change which is coming, so we might as well give our Tennessee coaches as many tools as we can in their efforts to recruit the best athletes to our schools,” said Kelsey.

The changes are set to go into effect in three years if passed.

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