Red Wolves and Razorbacks address NIL legislation Tuesday at Arkansas Capitol

A-State Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics Tom Bowen talks NIL Tuesday in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Sports and politics collided Tuesday in Little Rock.

It’s the Arkansas Student-Athlete Publicity Rights Act. It passed out of committee on Tuesday and will go to the full Arkansas House of Representatives for a vote. HB1671 would compensate college student-athletes in Arkansas for use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

“Student-athletes have never had the ability, except for a waiver exception by the NCAA committee, to monetize and market their talents, whatever they want to do,” Bowen said. “This isn’t about being paid to stand around and say eat these sandwiches. This is about being paid to do things you want to do, that are your talents, your gifts, whatever you want to do. The integrity piece to this is critical. But this is the right thing to do for student-athletes for the first time in 100 years. To give them the opportunity to have the ability to own their name, image, and likeness. Whatever that means. We can create enough barriers and a big enough fence to keep the darker side of what could be possible out of our business. I promise you that.”

House Speaker Matthew Shepard introduced the NIL legislation. If it’s signed, the law would take effect in January 2022. The states of California, Colorado, and Florida have already signed NIL legislation into law.

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