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Maryland adds athlete safety provision as it joins growing list of states to enact Jackson Lewis PC name, image and likeness law

By on May 25, 2021 0

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Play Act. Starting in 2023, the law allows student athletes at colleges and universities in Maryland to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness (NIL) and retain agent representation without penalty for the student-athlete’s eligibility or participation in an intercollegiate competition.

Student athletes are required to disclose any VOID contracts they enter into with their school. A student-athlete’s NIL contract may not conflict with the school’s sports program contracts. Schools are not required to disclose conflicting provisions in their contracts. Student athletes are also prohibited from using their school’s name and logos to market the student athlete’s individual NIL rights.

Named after former University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair,

“The law also requires schools in Maryland to adopt safety guidelines for serious sports-related and pre-existing health conditions.

In 2018, McNair collapsed after an off-season training session and died shortly thereafter. McNair’s death has led to investigations into the University of Maryland and its athletic program. Unlike the delayed implementation of its nil provisions, the law’s security requirements come into effect July 1, 2021.

Although it was introduced to be fully effective this year, the law was amended to delay its NIL provisions until 2023 after the Board of Regents of the Maryland University System raised concerns about the potential conflict of the law. with rule changes proposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Federation Legislature. Maryland is home to fifty-five institutions that compete in various divisions of the NCAA.

After failing to pass NIL legislation in previous legislative sessions, Maryland joins nine other states that enacted NIL laws during this legislative cycle, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Six other states, California, Florida, Colorado, Nebraska, New Jersey and Michigan, had previously adopted NIL provisions.

Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas still have NIL legislation pending in each state’s legislative process, with the Missouri bill approved and sent to Governor Mike Parson on May 14. A number of other states have passed NIL legislation. To date, nearly a third of all schools participating in the NCAA will allow their student athletes to receive NULL compensation. At least five states allow zero compensation as of July 1 of this year.

Jackson Lewis’s sports industry group will continue to monitor ongoing federal and state name, image and likeness issues, as well as the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Alston Case.

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