JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a handful of bills into law Thursday, one of which has to do with the name, image, and likeness of college athletes.

The legislation, Senate Bill 718, amended a law signed by the governor last year. Back in July 2021, Parson signed the name, image, and likeness bill into law. It’s better known as NIL, but it prohibited school officials and coaches from getting involved. Under the legislation signed Thursday, they can now help athletes find opportunities.

“Together we worked on something that is going to protect our athletes,” said Sen. Barbara Washington (D-Kansas City).

Washington sponsored the bill that started as a week of honor for Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) for one week in September. Near the end of the session, Rep. Kurtis Gregory (R-Marshall) a former Mizzou football captain added a provision to the bill that allows university employees and coaches to play a role in their players’ endorsements.

“I just want all the universities to be at the leading edge of NIL and have the best opportunity to get the best players to come here to the state of Missouri and play,” Gregory said.

Mizzou’s football coach, Eliah Drinkwitz, along with the men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates, women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton, and Mizzou’s athletic director Desiree were present for Thursday’s bill signing.

The legislation states that athletic departments, school officials, and coaches can assist with opportunities for a student-athlete to earn compensation from a third party for the use of the student athlete’s name, image, likeness rights, or athletic reputation.

The law does not allow a coach or school official to be the player’s agent or receive compensation. They also can’t influence an athlete or attend negotiations.

“I think those athletes deserve to have an opportunity for endorsements and get a little money for what they are doing,” Parson said. “You deserve to be rewarded for that hard work you’ve done, and I think this is an opportunity for those students and athletes to be able to get a little piece of the pie.”

Washington said the legislation was personal to her.

“As a former athlete at Mizzou, I have several friends who didn’t have enough money to wash their clothes,” Washington said. “This will help our players in a position where they can have a little bit of money in their pocket so they can be successful as other students.”

Shortly after signing the bill. Mizzou Athletics announced its plan to create an in-house team to help athletes with graphic design and creative videos.

Missouri currently has two HBCUs, Lincoln University in Jefferson City and Harris Stowe in St. Louis.

The bill would also require high schools in Missouri to offer at least one computer science class to students. It also creates the Workforce Diploma Program to help adults get their high school diplomas. Another piece of the legislation requires any college or university to accept course credit to a student who scores a three or higher on an advanced placement (AP) exam.

The law officially goes into effect at the end of August. Senate Bill 718 was one of six bills the governor signed into law Thursday. The other bills are:

  • House Bill 1472 which changes language in the state statute regarding money laundering.
  • House bill 2162, which creates the Opioid Addiction Fund to help Missourians suffering from opioid addiction.
  • Senate Bill 655 involves employees within Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System.
  • Senate Bill 725 requires newly elected ambulance board members to attend board member training.
  • Senate Bill 700 increases the penalties for escaping from custody while in police custody.