LANSING, Mich. – Considering Michigan boasts the nation’s largest football stadium and fills it when the coronavirus isn’t lurking -- college football is huge in the state.
There is a major change coming to that fall tradition. The Michigan Legislature passed a couple of bills that would allow for paying college athletes.
One of which was Senate Bill No. 660. It was introduced in December of 2019. The bill prohibits sports organizations from preventing a student-athlete from receiving compensation from the use of their name, image or likeness.
The NCAA has clung to the notion of amateur student-athletes for generations. Its rules surrounding athletes making money have been strict for years.
The State Legislatures noticed the billions of dollars schools and the big conferences were raking in and decided the people providing that kind of wealth should share in it.
West Bloomfield’s Donovan Edwards had media outlets attend his signing day on Wednesday.
Edward’s high school coach, Ron Bellamy, played for the Wolverines as well. He also went pro.
“It’s something that should have been done years ago,” Bellamy said.
He said he believes the new bills surrounding the use of the name, image and likeness will help student-athletes like Edwards.
Michigan Sen. Adam Hollier is a former college athlete who championed the legislation because the NCAA has dragged its feet and penalized student-athletes wrongfully for many years.
The legislation won’t go into effect until 2023.
Hollier said the legislation is just the beginning. He believes much more needs to be done for student-athletes, especially at division two and three levels. He plans to craft more bills.