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Edwards accepts new rules for the remuneration of varsity athletes

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) – Governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday signed a law creating the framework for Louisiana varsity athletes to earn money through endorsements and sponsorship agreements, as players on some campuses have already started signing such agreements.

The governor’s announcement came a day after the NCAA board of directors agreed to a temporary national policy allowing compensation, under increasing pressure from states allowing student-athletes to take advantage of their name, image and likeness. Many of those laws, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, came into effect Thursday.

The Louisiana Bill by Senator Pat Connick, a Republican Marrero, setting the state’s rules was enacted as soon as the Democratic governor signed his name to the measure. Edwards called it a “critical and historic moment for Louisiana athletes.”

“It’s only fitting that college athletes can benefit financially from their hard work and gain more control over their personal image, which many organizations and entities have done for years. It is out of time for this law, and I am excited about the opportunities it will open for talented Louisiana athletes, ”the governor said in a statement.

Every board of the university system must adopt implementing policies before college players can begin signing contracts. The management boards of Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana have both adopted such policies in anticipation of the signing of the bill, and some of their athletes have already sought such approvals and have started announcing them on Thursday.

Connick’s bill – passed in the regular session that ended in June – was spurred by inaction from the NCAA, which only ended this week. Lawmakers have said they want Louisiana to remain competitive, allowing players to make the same profitable deals or risk these athletes being poached by other schools upon recruiting. Connick said the athletes were being treated unfairly.

“This law will change the lives of university athletes in Louisiana in the best possible way, as it will allow them to maintain their amateur status, but also to earn a living for their hard work while they are in college,” Connick said in a statement. “This is what is fair and just for our athletes.

The House and Senate overwhelmingly accepted Connick’s legislation.

Under the bill, compensation is only allowed in agreements with outside third-party groups not affiliated with the school, and not with sports boosters. Transactions cannot relate to tobacco, alcohol, illegal substances, prohibited sports substances or gambling.

Athletes must disclose contracts to their colleges, and schools may block certain agreements that conflict with existing sponsorship agreements on campus or the “institutional values” of the campus. Any approval and sponsorship agreement for varsity athletes under the age of 18 must involve the parent or guardian of the student.

As part of the legislation, Louisiana colleges are required to give student-athletes at least a five-hour financial literacy and life skills workshop on debt practices, budgeting, and early time management. of their first and third university years.

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The bill is introduced as a Senate bill 60.

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Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte.

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