Governor Hochul today 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 as a result of the use of the student-athletes 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 the use of a 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 the 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 for 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.