Tennessee NIL changes become law

Published 4:17 pm Monday, May 6, 2024

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By John Styff

The Center Square

A Tennessee law that will match a lawsuit filed by the state against the NCAA has gone into effect.

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Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill into law and now Tennessee law allows prospective students to hire an agent and eliminates fair market value limitations on athlete pay.

Senate Bill 709 also prevents athletes from suing coaches over playing time and impeding their potential earning power due to coaching decisions.

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.

“While the NCAA permits student-athletes to profit from their NIL, it fails to show how the timing of when a student-athlete enters such an agreement would destroy the goal of preserving amateurism,” Corker wrote.

Florida, New York and the District of Columbia recently joined the lawsuit.