The Ohio Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow college athletes in the state the right to earn money through endorsements and sponsorship deals.
Sponsored by Senator Niraj Antani, Senate Bill 187 would give student athletes the opportunity to benefit from their own name, image and likeness (NIL). Under the bill, colleges and universities would be banned from preventing student athletes the chance to participate in sports based on whether or not they receive compensation.
Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day testified in support of the bill on Tuesday, saying in part, “It’s important to remember that most student athletes do not receive scholarships. NIL will help student athletes generate income for necessary expenses at colleges and universities across Ohio.”
Since 2019, at least 16 states — including Arizona, Nebraska, and Michigan — have approved legislation allowing college athletes to make money through advertisements, sponsorship deals and other types of promotions based on their athletic success.
Five of those bills — approved by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico — become law July 1.
The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 33-0 on Wednesday. It now heads to the Ohio House.
“Student athletes are now much closer to having restored their right to their own name, image, and likeness,” Antani said. “This bill has the potential to significantly change the lives of these student athletes forever, and I am grateful for my Senate colleagues for passing my bill.”