New GLC Explainer Tackles Name, Image, and Likeness Rights for Student-Athletes

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Collegiate athletes in New York State could soon profit from sales of their name, image, and likeness (NIL) as thousands across the country already have, if Governor Kathy Hochul signs the New York Collegiate Athletic Participation Compensation Act into law.

However, in “Name, Image, and Likeness Legislation Reaches New York State,” – the latest explainer from the Government Law Center (GLC) at Albany Law School – Government Lawyer in Residence Bennett Liebman explores NIL in New York and points out the game isn’t decided yet.

“The NIL issue has been many years in the making. The confluence of collegiate revenue, antitrust litigation, and state NIL legislation has propelled the NIL issue into increased prominence,” Liebman said.
While the NCAA and other states adopted policies on NIL in 2021, after the Supreme Court’s decision in NCAA v. Alston, the New York State legislature passed its bill in 2022. If signed, it could go into effect Jan. 1, 2023 and apply to not only NCAA athletes in New York, but community college ones too.

“While the legislation has not yet been sent to the Governor for her approval, the ball is clearly in the Governor’s court. The Governor appears to have three options: she can sign the bill; she can veto it; or she can sign the bill on the condition that the legislature agrees to make chapter amendments of her choice. In the case of the NIL legislation, there is no clearly beneficial approach for the Governor to take,” Liebman writes. “We simply cannot predict what actions the Governor will take on the NIL bill.”

If signed, New York will become one of 30 states with NIL legislation. 

Read the explainer here.

The explainer is the latest in a series from the GLC that concisely map out the law that applies to important questions of public policy. The GLC has also created explainers on a variety of topics, including state constitutional amendments, voting rights, government ethics reform, political redistricting in New York, immigration, aging, and policing policy, among others.

Read more here.