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Athletics: Name, image and likeness bill roars through Louisiana House of Representatives, 88-7

Glenn Guilbeau, The Daily Advertiser, May 8, 2021

BATON ROUGE – Senate Bill 60 that will allow college athletes throughout Louisiana to profit from their name, image and likeness while maintaining amateur status was passed by the House of Representatives, 88-7, on Monday at the State Capitol.

The Senate passed the bill in similar convincing fashion, 32-0, on May 17. The bill will return to the Senate for a vote on amendments concerning universities’ roles in athletic sponsorships and the implementation of the bill – should it become law.

If the Senate passes the bill again over the next three days with the legislative session ending Thursday, it proceeds to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards, who can sign it into law.

It was another victory as lawmakers continue to strive to make Louisiana the first state to pass such a bill, which has clones in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee in similar processes.

More:Name, image and likeness bill passes Louisiana Senate by landslide, could become law in June

More:NCAA in uncharted waters with name, image and likeness laws about to change the college landscape

"This is going to highly impact our student-athletes ability to use their personal name, their personal likeness in a very positive way," former LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux said after watching the bill pass.

Breaux retired in August after 43 years, but remains an LSU athletic department ambassador and has been working closely with athletic director Scott Woodward and other staff members on the bill and its potential impact.

"This is not just about the famous football players making money," Breaux said. "It’s about the track athlete who is faster than lightning and has a tremendous social media presence. And there is someone out there that wants her to sell their product and be the face of that company. And it’s not in conflict with anything the university is doing."

LSU sophomore All-American gymnast Olivia Dunne, shown here when she signed with LSU while in high school in Hillsdale, New Jersey, is expected to profit from a proposed new law in Louisiana that would allow athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

LSU All-American gymnast and social media celebrity Olivia Dunn, a sophomore from Hillsdale, New Jersey, could likely sign a lucrative endorsement deal, for example. She has more than four million subscribers on TikTok and more than one million followers on Instagram.

"She’s a fabulous young lady from a great family," Breaux said. "She could sign an endorsement with a cereal or a clothing line or a local company or anything that is not in competition with our corporate sponsors at LSU."

Breaux said LSU is planning ongoing education of its student-athletes and coaches about the intricacies and ramifications of the bill should it become law.

"We want this bill to be efficient and effective for all of our student-athletes across the state and all universities," Breaux said. "It’s a strong bill that has very few loopholes in it. It all comes back to university guidance and making sure there are no conflicting sponsorships."

State representative Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge believes he has found a loophole and voted against the bill.

"There is potential for abuse," he said. "Where is the authority for oversight? There are prohibitions for the respective universities to oversee it, but the bill also requires them to administer the process. That’s a potential conflict. There is a lack of clarity in the bill."