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NJ Effort to Follow California, Let Student Athletes Profit from Names and Images

John Reitmeyer | October 28, 2019 | NJ Spotlight |


New Jersey Fair Play Act would make it legal for collegiate athletes to sign endorsement deals and other advertising contracts

After voting in recent years to legalize sports betting and to regulate fantasy sports games, New Jersey lawmakers are turning their attention to collegiate sports and concerns about the treatment of student athletes.

Citing a need to protect the rights of student athletes and guard against their exploitation, a new piece of legislation introduced last week in the state Senate seeks to make it legal for college students to profit from their  names and images, such as by signing endorsement deals or other advertising contracts.

Sponsors say the New Jersey Fair Play Act is modeled on a recently enacted California law. It marks the latest challenge to highly restrictive rules for student athletes that are enforced by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a nonprofit organization that regulates college sports to preserve the amateur status of students. Those rules prevent student athletes from profiting in any way from their on-field performances, even as colleges and the NCAA rakes in millions.

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