Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed a bill that will allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness, adding to a trend that is sweeping the nation.
Tennessee became the 15th state to pass the law. It is scheduled to go into effect in the Volunteer State on Jan. 1, 2022.
“Tennessee’s bill would affect college athletes in men’s and women’s sports, but especially high profile teams,” wrote Adam Sparks of the Nashville Tennessean. “There are four Division I FBS college football teams in the state — University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, University of Memphis and Middle Tennessee State University.”
Per the bill, schools can’t prevent or “unduly restrict” athletes from earning money for use of their name, image and likeness. That said, athletes will not be permitted to promote gambling, tobacco, alcohol, or adult entertainment. So a school will indeed have the right to keep athletes from using name, image and likeness “if it reasonably considers there to be a conflict with the values of the institution,” per Sparks.
Several states are putting the name, image and likeness law into effect July 1, including Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.