Tennessee NIL bill to match AG’s lawsuit heads to Lee

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Jon Styf 

The Center Square

A bill to change Tennessee’s college athletics name, image and likeness rules to match a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association from Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti passed the House late Tuesday and will next head to Gov. Bill Lee for his signature.

Email newsletter signup

The bill would change Tennessee law to allow prospective students to hire an agent and would eliminate fair market value limitations on athlete pay.

Senate Bill 709 passed the House 86-1 without discussion after previous question was called as bill sponsor Rep. Kevin Vaughan, R-Collierville, stood in the well with co-sponsor Reps. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis and Joe Towns, D-Memphis.

“This is a fast-moving field that we’re in,” Vaughan said. “For us to make sure that the same rules of capitalism and free market effect athletes whether or not they have signed to play NCAA sports shouldn’t be impeded.”

The bill comes after Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s office received a preliminary injunction against the NCAA and its NIL rules in February on claims that the NCAA rules limitations violate federal antitrust law by limiting athlete compensation.

U.S. District Judge Clifton L. Corker also restricted the NCAA from enforcing its rules of restitution related to NIL activities until a final ruling.