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New law allows guidance for college athletes seeking to profit off of their names in Missouri

David Torres, 29, a doctoral candidate in civil engineering from Mexico City, Mexico, walks past the University of Missouri’s columns on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, at the campus in Columbia, Missouri.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
David Torres, 29, a doctoral candidate in civil engineering from Mexico City, Mexico, walks past the University of Missouri’s columns on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, at the campus in Columbia, Missouri.

The new guidelines allow coaches to assist athletes in seeking opportunities in which they can profit off their name, image and likeness. The new provision is part of a larger K-12 and higher education bill Gov. Mike Parson signed into law on Thursday.

Collegiate athletes in Missouri will soon be able to receive guidance on opportunities to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness under a new state law.

Universities, coaches, individuals associated with an athletic department as well as others listed in the law would be able to identify or assist student athletes with seeking out those opportunities.

The bill does ban said persons from being able to serve as a student’s agent, receive compensation from the athlete or a third party or attend any meeting between an athlete and a third party where compensation is being negotiated or completed.

Eli Drinkwitz, the head coach for the University of Missouri’s football team, said it allows coaches to provide more mentorship with navigating this issue.

“I think it's just the next step right now and in order to basically put safety guardrails and provide more information on something that's not well known right now,” Drinkwitz said.

It’s an expansion of an existing bill that Missouri lawmakers passed in 2021, and a part of a larger education bill that Gov. Mike Parson signed into law on Thursday. Parson emphasized not only the student athlete part of the bill, but its other provisions too.

“I think this legislation, there's just a lot of moving parts in here. It's gonna be a great opportunity to help a lot of people, a lot of young people to be successful in life,” Parson said.

The law includes the requirement for Missouri high schools to offer a minimum of one computer science course to students.

It also removes monetary limitations with state dual credit enrollment course scholarships. Eligible students who qualify would be offered a scholarship equal to the tuition and fees paid by the student to enroll in a dual-credit or enrollment course. Currently, students only receive up to 50%.

The underlying bill, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, designates the third week of September in Missouri as “Historically Black College and University Week.”

Washington said she’s been working on the bill for five years.

“Federally, President Carter did make it like a day. There's now a conference to bring more attention, awareness, funding, and students to Missouri, to our two HBCUs,” Washington said.

Currently, Missouri has two historically Black colleges and universities, Lincoln University in Jefferson City and Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

Senate Bill 718 is one of a total of six bills Parson signed into law in two separate signing ceremonies on Thursday. The other bills are:

  • Senate Bill 799, which modifies the offense of escaping from custody to include those who are held for parole or probation violations.
  • Senate Bill 655, which allows political subdivisions to elect to cover emergency telecommunications, jailers and Emergency Management Services employees within the Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System.
  • Senate Bill 725, which prohibits newly elected ambulance board members from running for reelection if they fail to attend board member training.
  • House Bill 2162, which revolves around opioid addiction treatment, including allowing the Department of Corrections and Judiciary to use funds from the Opioid Addiction Fund if appropriated by the state legislature.
  • House Bill 1472, which updates the current state statute on money laundering, including adding new technologies like cryptocurrency. 

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Sarah Kellogg is St. Louis Public Radio’s Statehouse and Politics Reporter, taking on the position in August 2021. Sarah is from the St. Louis area and even served as a newsroom intern for St. Louis Public Radio back in 2015.
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