New Jersey Joins California to Allow Collegiate Student-Athletes to Earn Compensation
Trenton – The “New Jersey Fair Play Act”, sponsored by Senator Joe Lagana, Senate Higher Education Chair Senator Sandra Cunningham and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, which will allow collegiate student-athletes to earn compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness, was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy today.
“For too long, collegiate athletes have been barred from seeking compensation for endorsements while their skill and labor fuels profits for the NCAA and its corporate partners,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “These amazing young people deserve the right to share in the economic opportunity created by their talent. Today, we put an end to that inequity and allow New Jersey’s student athletes to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
“Universities are making immense profits off of their athletic departments. It is unacceptable that, while student-athletes receive scholarships, one serious injury can leave them with no scholarship, no means to pay for the remainder of their degree and no idea how to move forward with their life or their career,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “By allowing students to accept endorsements and profit off their likeness, we can put them in control of their future, without having to rely entirely on the goodwill of the schools they attend.”
“At the same time universities and the NCAA collect hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, student-athletes are given a stipend and an ‘education,’” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “These elite athletes spend well over 40 hours a week practicing, training and preforming with no guarantee of a professional career, or even a complete education. This is not only unfair, it is exploitation. While the NCAA drags its feet, I’m glad this bill will give student-athletes new rights to compensation, at least in New Jersey.”
In the new law, an institution of higher education will be prohibited from preventing student-athletes from earning compensation from their likeness. This prohibition will also include any student-athlete looking to obtain professional representation, including an agent or lawyer. Opportunities afforded to student-athletes under the law will also be prohibited from affecting scholarship eligibility.
Under the new law, images or likeness of student-athletes will not be eligible for use in connection to adult entertainment, alcohol, gambling of any kind, tobacco and electronic smoking, pharmaceuticals, controlled dangerous substances or firearms.