Gov. Tate Reeves OKs bill allowing Mississippi college athletes to get image, likeness compensation
College athletes in Mississippi will soon be able to get compensated for their image and likeness.
Gov. Tate Reeves approved Senate Bill 2313, better known as the "Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation Rights Act" on Friday. The bill goes in effect July 1.
Mississippi becomes the seventh state, behind California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska and New Jersey, to pass the bill. Mississippi, along with Florida, is also the state that will enact the bill the earliest.
It won't come without national pushback, however. The NCAA can seek an injunction against or sue states that legalize NIL payments without a federal ruling. Or there could be a federal ruling that renders all state decisions moot.
Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders, athletic director Ashley Robinson and school president Thomas Hudson recently met with Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker to discuss the bill. Sanders has been a public supporter of the bill for months now.
On Monday's SWAC call with media, Sanders said he was focused on getting the bill passed because his duties as a college coach go beyond what takes place the field.
"I have to try to figure out how to take care of some of these kids who are in terrible situations back home," Sanders said. "I don't want my kids working in the offseason. It's up to me to go out there and challenge myself to go out there and get some of these endorsements so these kids can be compensated for their image and likeness."
Sanders also pointed out how he played his senior year at Florida State as a walk-on because he signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin also said he's been prepared for the bill to be signed for some time. He has been working with staff members to make sure athletes don't get taken advantage of.
"Just bringing in different people so that you have a program in place," Kiffin said. "Where it’s just not coaches. You’re able to set these things up and manage things so that the players are getting the most they can out of the rules but at the same time it’s not major distractions for them."
Contact Rashad Milligan at 601-862-6198 or Jmilligan@gannett.com. Follow @RashadMilligan on Twitter. Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.