STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf joined student-athletes at Penn State University Monday to celebrate the signing of Act 26, which allows collegiate athletes to profit off their own image and likeness.
Act 26 took effect when the budget was signed in June.
“Pennsylvania is home to many outstanding student-athletes who devote countless hours of their time, effort and passion to achievement both in the classroom and on the field. This new chapter for athletes across Pennsylvania will allow collegiate athletes to finally earn compensation for endorsements without sacrifice to the sport they have dedicated much of their lives to play,” Gov. Wolf said.
For decades, the idea had been shrouded in controversy. Schools making millions of dollars using the images of athletes without compensating them through endorsements and sponsorships.
Under act 26, student-athletes can accept endorsements and monetize their celebrity status on personal time. It also requires that royalties be paid for team jersey sales and video games featuring the athletes. Any compensation cannot impact students athlete scholarships.
“At Penn State, our 800+ varsity student-athletes have raised the bar for dedication, work ethic and pursuit of excellence,” Eric Barron, president, said. “They pursue challenging academic programs and spend rigorous and exhausting hours practicing… Our student-athletes are an impressive group and it’s our responsibility to do everything possible to ensure their success beyond college.”
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Several other states have already passed this into law. Following in suit could ensure that Pennsylvania remains competitive in its goal of recruiting college athletes.
“Name, Image and Likeness rights is an important step in realizing that goal,” Pres. Barron said. “And we appreciate that Pennsylvania has enacted a bill that gives student-athletes the ability to earn compensation based on their NIL.”
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