Ky. Gov. Beshear: Student-athletes now allowed to profit from name, image and likeness

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:52 PM CDT
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - After talking with higher education and legislative leaders in the commonwealth, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order on Thursday allowing student-athletes in Kentucky to receive fair compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness.

Gov. Beshear is the first governor to allow compensation for name, image and likeness by executive order.

“Today’s step was done in cooperation with all of our public universities as well as leadership of both parties,” Gov. Beshear said after signing the executive order Thursday at the Capitol. “This action ensures we are not at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting, and also that our student-athletes have the same rights and opportunities as those in other states. For any individual athlete, their name, image and likeness are their own and no one else’s.”

The decision allows Kentucky schools to keep pace with other states allowing similar compensation.

The Governor says that colleges and universities have been directed to assist student-athletes with financial literacy, time management, as well as social media and brand management.

This executive order will officially go into effect starting on July 1.

Multiple coaches at Kentucky universities applauded Beshear’s action.

“We are entering into an exciting age in college athletics,” Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari said. “At the University of Kentucky, we have always put student-athletes first and today’s executive order by Gov. Beshear – who I want to thank for making this a priority – will empower universities across the state to support their young men and women better than ever. Whether we are talking about name, image and likeness, lifetime scholarships, financial literacy, health and wellness, or player welfare, student-athletes have been at the center of every decision at Kentucky. With today’s announcement, we continue to take positive steps forward in supporting our student-athletes to an even greater degree statewide. They deserve our time, effort and resources in making sure they have the opportunities to benefit from the hard work they put into their athletic and educational careers. As we wait on federal legislation, our program will continue to support, elevate and educate our kids.”

“I’m all for student-athletes maximizing their opportunity as students, as athletes and as earners of income,” Louisville men’s basketball coach Chris Mack said. “Thankful that our state and Gov. Beshear feel this way as well. Name, image and likeness rights have become a reality for our student-athletes today and that’s a good thing in my eyes.”

“Supporting our student-athletes is at the center of Kentucky Athletics and today’s announcement is another step in that direction,” Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops said. “Name, image and likeness issues are at the forefront of college athletics and we appreciate Gov. Beshear helping us address current needs while long-term solutions are being developed on the national level. Our established principles of educational excellence, athletic success and personal development have us well-positioned as the NIL process begins.”

“I’m very appreciative that Gov. Beshear worked so quickly putting together an executive order allowing our student-athletes to earn additional compensation for use of their name, image and likeness,” Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield said. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity for our players moving forward and I know they are grateful for everyone coming together to make this a reality.”

“I appreciate Gov. Beshear stepping up and making student-athletes in the state of Kentucky a priority,” Kentucky women’s basketball coach Kyra Elzy said. “The University of Kentucky has been a leader in name, image and likeness. I know our administration will work with the Governor’s office to ensure that student-athletes in Kentucky will continue to take the necessary steps to stay atop of NIL issues.”

“We applaud Gov. Beshear on this groundbreaking decision,” Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz said. “This is the right thing to do. This allows our student-athletes to enhance their profile in the profession of their choice. This is about opportunity, and we are all for it.”

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