COLUMBIA, Mo. – Governor Mike Parson officially signed legislation Tuesday giving college coaches in Missouri a more active role in endorsement opportunities for their athletes.
In two weeks, not only will Faurot Field in Columbia be packed for the first Mizzou football game of the season, but a new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) law will go into effect, allowing in-state high school students to be able to cash in on endorsement deals once the athlete signs on.
“This is going to make us competitive,” President of the University of Missouri System Mun Choi said during Tuesday’s bill signing.
A new Missouri law overseeing how college athletes make a profit from their endorsement rights is being called one-of-its-kind in the nation.
“I hope that true sons and true daughters of Missouri now are going to be able to stay in the state and receive their education and compete here in Missouri,” Sen. Karla Eslinger, R-Wasola, said.
House Bill 417 relaxes NIL laws for college and high school athletes by giving coaches like Mizzou head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz a seat at the negotiation table.
“When you play for the University of Missouri, you represent the entire state, 6.5 million of us, and we are very proud of you, and part of the whole pushing this is so that you can receive your part,” Drinkwitz said.
Under the newly signed law, coaches are no longer prohibited from attending meetings between college athletes and a third-party NIL entity where compensation is discussed. HB 417 says school officials will be able to “identify, create, facilitate, negotiate, support, enable or otherwise assist” with NIL opportunities for athletes.
Previously, coaches and school employees were prohibited from interacting with athlete’s endorsements or NIL collectives.
“We’ve got some great coaches here at the University of Missouri, Coach Dennis Gates, Coach Drinkwitz, and they are showing you what can happen when you have great coaching and great leadership paired with great state law,” Rep. Kurtis Gregory, R-Marshall, said.
The bipartisan legislation also allows in-state high school athletes to start earning NIL revenue once a written agreement is signed. Football recruits can start earning NIL money once they sign with an in-state school as early as December of their senior year. Basketball prospects can sign as early as November of their senior year.
“By doing what we did in this legislation, it is not only rewarding to the universities, but it really rewards you because you deserve it, and you work hard at it,” Parson said to the college athletes in attendance at the bill signing Tuesday.
Back in 2021, the NCAA told schools to follow their individual state laws regarding NIL policy. The NIL language actually fell within a workforce bill, allowing the Department of Economic Development to offer grants to employers whose employees obtain up-skill credentials.
“It is upscaling, it is giving the opportunity to young people and that’s the work we do,” Eslinger said.
Coaches and supporters said this legislation, set to go into effect Aug. 28, will put the state and Mizzou front and center for college athletics.
“It’s really an exciting day, and it’s a day that gives the University of Missouri a chance to lead from the front and that’s what all of us want to be known for, leading from the front,” Drinkwitz said.
The law also allows athletes with NIL deals to obtain a license to use their school’s logo, motto, and colors for marketing and promotion purposes.
Colleges will be required to offer two workshops a calendar year to athletes to address financial skills, time management and entrepreneurship.