Mississippi's colleges and universities have a new recruiting tool for student athletes. The Mississippi Intercollegiate Compensation Rights Act was passed by the Mississippi legislature earlier this year and went into effect on July 1, 2021.1 For the first time, Mississippi's college athletes will be able to receive compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL).2 The new law is a game changer because it will enable Mississippi colleges to recruit athletes from all over the country with the promise that they will be eligible to enjoy the benefits of marketing their NIL consistent with Mississippi law and NCAA guidelines.
Not all states have enacted NIL legislation. Mississippi is one of several states that have enacted NIL legislation. Some states have enacted NIL legislation with various effective dates.
Mississippi's new law allows student athletes to hire an agent or another advisor to assist them in working on their compensation with third parties. The student athletes will be entitled to earn compensation at market value for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL).
On June 21, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a unanimous decision, ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cannot bar colleges and universities from making school related payments to student athletes, on the grounds that such actions were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Legislative action is likely to continue in other states to allow student athletes to be compensated for their NIL. College athletes should benefit from this new opportunity to earn financial support during their education from some of the wealth that they help to generate for their colleges and universities. However, the lack of a uniform statutory scheme is likely to create problems for students that wish to transfer from school to school or who wish to leave one state and go to another.
Eventually, Congress may be called upon to create a uniform interstate system of compensation for student athletes. In the meantime, the NCAA is likely to try to oversee the compensation of student athletes consistent with state and federal law.
1. 2021 MS S.B. 2313 (NS)April 16, 2021
2. Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).
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