Governor Hochul has signed legislation (S.5891-F/A.5115-E) that allows New York collegiate student athletes to receive compensation for their name, image, or likeness without the risk of forfeiting their scholarships or eligibility to participate in collegiate athletics.
“Our collegiate student athletes are heroes on the field – and they deserve to be treated like heroes even after the final whistle,” Governor Hochul said. “For too long, collegiate student athletes have not been able to benefit from the extraordinary benefits their hard work has provided to their schools. I’m proud to sign this legislation that will help New York’s collegiate student athletes earn the recognition they deserve.”
Specifically, this legislation prohibits a college or collegiate athletic conference – including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – from upholding any rules preventing students from earning compensation a result of the use of the student-athlete’s name, image, or likeness, from participating in collegiate athletics competition because of such compensation. It also prohibits a college or collegiate athletic conference from providing compensation to a student for use of name, image, or likeness and allows players to use professional representation provided by attorneys and athlete agents licensed in New York State. Additionally, the new law requires colleges participating in NCAA Division I athletics to provide student-athletes services in the form of assistance in degree completion, career development, financial and mental health, discrimination and harassment training, and leadership training.
Prior to change in the NCAA’s policy in 2021 to allow NIL contracts, the prohibition on student-athlete payment for their work was seen as unfair and exploitative. This was particularly impactful to students of color. Student-athletes take significant risks, to the benefit of colleges, and were not allowed to share in that benefit beyond a scholarship, which may be far below the revenue they are producing for the school.
This legislation will now establish express law in New York allowing students to share in the economic benefits created by their athletic accomplishments, alongside their colleges and universities which may generate revenue through media, ticket sales, and merchandise.
The NCAA reported that the total revenue generated by athletic departments totaled almost $19 billion in 2019. Among that revenue, over $2 billion came from ticket sales.
State Senator Kevin S. Parker said, “After years of advocacy and hard work, I am beyond thrilled that Governor Hochul has signed this bill to support and protect our National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I athletes. This groundbreaking legislation will allow our student-athletes to remain in school, generate financial compensation for name, image, and likeness, and protect athletic scholarships and academic eligibility even after injury. Receiving a scholarship should not be the basis to deny athletes further compensation especially when many of them come from traditionally marginalized communities where making ends meet is a day-to-day dilemma. I am proud to have the support of my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, specifically Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, who joined me in this effort to ensure our student-athletes have every opportunity to succeed not just at their institution but also upon graduation.”
Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, “Today, we stand with student-athletes, former student-athletes, their families, and legislators in taking a giant step in the right direction for our student-athletes. Many athletes, some of whom would not have had the resources to attend college if it weren’t for their athletic prowess, come from traditionally marginalized communities where making ends meet is a day-to-day concern. The opportunity to afford the cost of living outside of what scholarships offer will be a game changer for many student-athletes and their families. It is our hope that DI colleges will continue to look out for the best interests of student-athletes by establishing savings plans for students, as well as a fund for financially distressed student-athletes, as our bill suggests.”