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

Glenn Guilbeau, The Advertiser, May 17, 2021

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Senate Bill 60, which will allow college athletes throughout the state to profit on their name, image and likeness while maintaining amateur status, passed by more than four touchdowns and a field goal Monday at the State Capitol — 32-0.

"There was no opposition whatsoever," the landmark bill's sponsor, Sen. Patrick Connick (R-Marrero), said after the vote.

He expected little opposition as nearby states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia, with football programs that recruit against LSU and other state schools have already passed similar bills.

"With the other states doing this, if we had some resistance, they would be wanting to give the advantage to another state," said Connick, a first cousin of singer Harry Connick Jr. "A recruiting advantage, and I don’t think that would play well.”

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The next step for the bill is the House of Representatives Education Committee next week.

"Hopefully, we can get out of there with no problem," Connick said. "Then it goes to the House floor the following week or the next week."

Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk follows.

"Once it gets to the governor and he signs it, it becomes law," Connick said. "That could happen, most likely, by mid-June or the end of June."

That would be before it becomes law in other states with competing college football teams because Connick is calling the plays on this two-minute drill.

“Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, they've passed it already, but the laws do not go into effect until late July," Connick said. "We can beat them by a few weeks. No other state's new NIL law is in action now. They have their bills passed, but they're waiting for the start date. We're behind in the process, but our start date is sooner than anybody else, depending on the Governor’s signature."

The bill also passed with an amendment Monday that allows for schools like LSU and others to begin planning now as if the bill is law.

"The amendment will allow the institutions to set their rules and set when they want to start after it becomes law," Connick said. "It’s going to allow them to get their house in order, then implement their program. They’ll be ready to go."

Connick said student athletes and their families in Louisiana can hire attorneys or agents after the bill becomes law to assist them in marketing.

“When that happens, the student athletes can go get agents and start working and dealing with the school and trying to get their agenda set up - what I can do, what I can’t do," he said. "They will be able to market themselves without the school interfering. They can make hires to help them navigate through the process."

New LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey pushed for lawmakers to vote on the bill on a recent visit to the State Capitol just after being hired away from Baylor.

"The NIL, it's going to change all of college athletics," she said on the House of Representatives floor on May 4. "Make a difference. Make a difference in somebody's life."