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3/6/2024 Solomon, LaMountain bill would protect image likeness rights for intercollegiate athletes
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) and Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) have introduced legislation that would prevent colleges and universities from adopting rules that limit a student athlete’s right to compensation from their image likeness.

The bill (2024-H 7644, 2024-S 2674) would allow college athletes, while they are students, to personally profit from the use of their name, image and likeness, and would prohibit the National Collegiate Athletic Association from preventing these practices.

“These young adults work very hard in college athletics, and the time has come for these athletes to earn money from their own likeness and image,” said Representative Solomon. “Colleges and universities have long made money off students’ talents and abilities on the courts and fields. It’s only fair that we preserve this right for students, many of whom are struggling financially. That right is preserved throughout business and industry, there’s no reason it shouldn’t also be preserved in colleges and intercollegiate institutions.”

California addressed the issue with its “Fair Pay to Play” law, which was enacted in September 2019. The law lets student-athletes endorse products and use their name, sport and school to identify themselves, but prevents them from using school logos or other trademarked property in the endorsements.

“Preventing a college athlete from earning money from their name, image and likeness has always been done in the name of preserving their amateur status,” said Senator LaMountain. “But this concept is severely outdated, since colleges find their sports programs to be highly profitable. Preserving these rights is only fair for the student-athletes who do all the hard work to bring glory to these institutions.”

Several states have passed legislation to allow student-athletes to earn compensation. The exact provisions of such legislation vary by state, but enacted bills generally include language to prevent the NCAA, conferences and schools from barring student-athletes from receiving compensation for their names, images or likenesses.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903