Gov. Whitmer signs bills allowing college athletes in Michigan to make money off name, image, likeness

Bills to take effect Dec. 31, 2022

File-This Oct. 16, 2020, file photo shows Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaking during an event with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at Beech Woods Recreation Center, in Southfield, Mich. Whitmer's administration on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, ordered high schools and colleges to stop in-person classes, closed restaurants to indoor dining and suspended organized sports including the football playoffs in a bid to curb the state's spiking coronavirus cases. The restrictions will begin Wednesday and last three weeks. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Carolyn Kaster, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed two bills that will allow college athletes in Michigan to make money off of their own name, image, likeness and reputation.

“For years we have all enjoyed the incredible talent of young athletes across the state. This legislation will change the lives of young men and women for years to come,” Whitmer said.

Michigan is among the first states to allow student athletes to earn such compensation. It’s the first time in state history that college players can financially benefit from their sport while attending school.

The bills allow players from any sport in all divisions to use agents to earn money from their own image, name, or likeness. But students can’t enter into apparel contracts that conflict with the apparel contracts of their schools.

Student athletes must also disclose contracts to their schools before signing.

The bills don’t give players the right to use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property or logos of schools, associations or conferences.

“I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation today on behalf of our current and future student athletes,” Whitmer said. “I am hopeful that the NCAA will set a national standard so that all players across the country are afforded the same opportunities.”

“At its core, this legislation is to ensure student-athletes in Michigan are treated fairly and they are able to have fulfilling college experience,” Rep. Joe Tate said (D-Detroit) said. I am proud of the opportunity to work on getting this legislation across the finish line.”

Bill details

House Bill 5217 keeps post-secondary educational institutions from enforcing rules that prohibit student athletes from profiting through promotional deals.

Students can now earn compensation for their name, image or likeness, and cannot be prevented from playing intercollegiate sports or receiving scholarships as a result.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Brandt Iden (R-Kalamazoo).

House Bill 5218 repeals a section of the Penal Code that prohibits athletic agents from inducing students into contracts before their eligibility for college athletics expires.

The bill also repeals a section of the Revised Judicature Act, which creates civil liability for interfering with the “prospective advantage” given by an institution of higher education by virtue of its relationship with the student athlete, by promising an improper gift or service to the athlete, if that gift results in injury to the school. The bill was sponsored by Tate.

The bills will take effect Dec. 31, 2022, except for a reporting requirement in Section 9, which has been given immediate effect.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.