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Missouri made a significant change to its Name, Image and Likeness legislation on Wednesday that is intended to get ahead of other states and the NCAA. However, there may be unintended consequences.
House Bill 417 passed in the House chambers on Wednesday in front of a contingent of Missouri Tigers coaches, including Eli Drinkwitz. Assuming that governor Mike Parson signs the legislation into effect in the coming weeks, its ramifications are massive.
The bill says a few things—
- Coaches and school officials are allowed to attend meetings between student-athletes and third-parties at which NIL compensation is negotiated.
- Conferences and the NCAA shall not:
- punish a school as a result of an athlete receiving NIL money
- investigate a school for its engagement in NIL activity
- penalize a school when an “institutional marketing associate” pays an athlete for his/her NIL.
- The law “shall not be construed to qualify a student-athlete as an employee of a post-secondary institution.”
Each of these amendments puts the Show-Me state near or at the top in terms of NIL legislation across the country. It is embracing the reality of NIL and how it plays a role in recruiting, whether it “should” or not.
There is another key component to Missouri’s new NIL law.
HB417 allows high school recruits in the state of Missouri to enter into NIL deals and profit from endorsement money, but only after they sign with an in-state college/university. They cannot profit from endorsement money while still in high school unless they sign with a school in Missouri.
Previously, high school athletes were not allowed to engage in NIL activity without losing eligibility. This is a big development, and gives in-state schools a leg up for recruiting in-state athletes.
It’s a huge deal for universities when they’re recruiting kids, especially in their home state. Missouri obviously has a lot of talented high school athletes that in the past have gone to other schools. So, Missouri would obviously like to do what they can to keep those athletes in the state of Missouri.— NIL and sports law attorney Mit Winter, via KMBC9
However, there may be some unintended consequences.
What is to keep a Missouri high school athlete from signing with an in-state school, making money while still in school, and then asking out of his/her Letter Of Intent and going elsewhere? One would assume that the contracts will have specific terms to avoid those scenarios, but the NIL world continues to be the Wild, Wild West.
There is also the element of the transfer portal. It is not necessarily a Missouri-specific problem, but the new law makes it even more relevant. An in-state high school athlete could sign with an in-state school, profit right away, redshirt once on campus, and then leave.
NIL continues to change and evolve. Missouri is on the cutting edge in a big way.
But will the new bill lead to a bigger mess than intended? Only time will tell…