With House Bill 1351, athletes could earn money with their name, image and likeness. It goes to the desk of the Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – This week Tennessee lawmakers passed law giving college athletes the opportunity to make money off their name, image, or likeness. Athletes say it will take a long time.
For the basketball player Ferrakohn Hall, playing in front of his family, friends and fans is a unique opportunity. To be able to make money on his name, image and likeness while playing the games University of Memphis would have meant being able to feed his family better.
“To capitalize on and be able to provide for my family would have put more on my plate to say that I have an opportunity here to do something for my family,” said Hall.
A bill that would allow athletes to make money using their name, likeness, and image is sent to the governor’s desk to be signed. Former college athletes like Ferrakohn Hall and @ T_Harris_14 say it’s long overdue. @ LocalMemphis pic.twitter.com/VcEyiagQcm
– Rebecca Butcher ? (@ Local24Rebecca) May 1, 2021
Proponents of the legislature argue that college athletes should be able to make money on endorsements, saying that Tennessee colleges could run the risk of being left behind in recruiting if they are not signed by law.
“Without that bill, if Tennessee doesn’t act, we’ll be left behind on the recruiting path,” said the bill sponsor Senator Brian Kelsey. “We’ll be in the SEC’s basement.”
“It’s the freedom to be able to take advantage of as much as we have taken advantage of for athletes,” Hall said. “It gives you the opportunity to capitalize, and society builds on that.”
Former All-American Tony Harris of McDonald’s, who played for the University of Tennessee basketball team, spoke to representatives on the subject in 2014, calling House Bill 1351 “monumental”.
“I’ve played thousands out of 10,000, 20,000 before,” Harris said. On CBS, ESPN and Fox Sports. From someone outside watching me on TV, they’d think I’d have it all, but I was actually broke. ”
Harris argues that passing the bill would encourage athletes to reflect on their image.
“I think this will be great for these student athletes because it gives them a path of professionalism from a young age and that is good for these universities.”
The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed. It would come into effect on January 1, 2022.