First, Alabama repealed its NIL law. Now, both Tennessee and Mississippi have amended their NIL laws to allow for more involvement by athletic departments. Senate Bill 2690 in Mississippi was signed by Governor Tate Reeves last week.
This time last year, it was a benefit to live in a state with an NIL law. Now, however, it’s become more advantageous to be in a state without a state law thanks to the NCAA’s fairly broad and permissive rules. The principle advantage of being in a state without a law has been the ability of institutions to be more “involved” in NIL deals compared to their peers in states with laws, most of which limited how institutions and their employees could interact with brands and third parties.
Mississippi’s amendment to its NIL law
Like Tennessee’s amendment, Mississippi’s also now permits communication between institutional employees and third parties who want to work with student athletes.
The language specifically states:
“A postsecondary educational institution may facilitate opportunities for student-athletes to engage with third parties interested in entering into name, image, and likeness agreements, and may communicate with third parties interested in providing name, image, and likeness agreements to student-athletes.”
It also allows athletes to enter into NIL contracts once they’ve verbally committed to a college or university in Mississippi. Tennessee’s amendment similarly removed language about an athlete being “at an institution.”
Addition to warning required for agency contracts
The new amendment in Mississippi also tweaks the disclaimer requirement in contracts between agencies and student athletes. It now must read:
WARNING TO STUDENT-ATHLETE
IF YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT:
(1) YOU MAY LOSE YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO COMPETE AS A STUDENT-ATHLETE IN YOUR SPORT UNLESS THIS CONTRACT IS SERVING AS A NAME, IMAGE AND LIKENESS AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 37-97-103;
(2) BOTH YOU AND YOUR ATHLETE AGENT ARE REQUIRED TO TELL YOUR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, IF YOU HAVE AN ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, WITHIN 72 HOURS AFTER ENTERING INTO AN AGENCY CONTRACT; AND
(3) YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER SIGNING IT. CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT MAY NOT REINSTATE YOUR ELIGIBILITY.
The warning must be “in close proximity to the signature of the student-athlete” and must be in boldface type and capital letters as displayed above.
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