College Students Can Get Compensation in Michigan
For the first time in history, Michigan student athletes will have a way to make money while they play for their college or university. Bi-partisan bills, signed into law today, allow student athletes to use their own name, image, likeness, and reputation for financial compensation. But they won’t actually take effect until a year from now.
“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,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am hopeful that the NCAA will set a national standard so that all players across the country are afforded the same opportunities. As always stay safe and go green!”
“It’s high time that collegiate players are respected and compensated for the talents that they’ve spent their entire lives trying to perfect,” said Joique Bell, former running back with the Detroit Lions and Wayne State University. “I’ve always supported the efforts to protect the best interests of athletes, especially those with tremendous abilities who play at all levels of the NCAA. Working two jobs, going to school full time, playing football and raising my son is a lot for any person, especially financially. My story is just one of many for collegiate student athletes. We need to continually find ways to help student athletes get ahead and build their brands early, while also protecting the players and the integrity of the sport.”
“At its core, this legislation is to ensure student-athletes in Michigan are treated fairly and they are able to have fulfilling college experience. I am proud of the opportunity to work on getting this legislation across the finish line,” said Representative Joe Tate.
House Bill 5217 prohibits post-secondary educational institutions from enforcing rules that prohibit student athletes from profiting from promotional deals. Students may earn compensation for their name, image, or likeness, and could not be prevented from playing intercollegiate sports or receiving scholarships because of doing so. The bill was sponsored by Representative Brandt Iden (R-Kalamazoo).
House Bill 5218 repeals a section of the Penal Code which 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 Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit).
The bills allow players from any sport in all divisions to use agents to earn money from their own image, name, or likeness. However, students cannot enter into an apparel contract that conflicts with the apparel contracts of their school, and must disclose contracts to their school prior to signing. The bills do not establish the right for students to use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property, and logos of schools, associations, or conferences.
HB 5217 and 5218 will take effect on December 31, 2022, except for a reporting requirement in Section 9 which has been given immediate effect.