Mississippi will join Florida as first states to enact NIL legislation on July 1

Student-athletes in both Florida and Mississippi will soon be able to earn licensing fees for their names, images, and likenesses.
Student-athletes in both Florida and Mississippi will soon be able to earn licensing fees for their names, images, and likenesses.
Photo: Getty Images

If the NCAA isn’t going to move on Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), apparently states will. Mississippi is the latest example.

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Governor Tate Reeves just signed the Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation Rights Act, allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness. It also permits athletes to hire attorneys and sports agents while maintaining scholarship eligibility.

Mississippi’s NIL legislation will go into effect on July 1, the same day Florida’s NIL law debuts.

The two southern states will be the first in the nation to give college athletes NIL rights. And it’s all happening before SEC football season — how convenient! (It is, actually.)

Mississippi and Florida are only two of seven states pushing NIL bills through their statehouse. California, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Jersey have all passed NIL laws, but they will go into effect after July 1. A few other states like Alabama, Maryland, and New Mexico are getting closer to passing their own NIL proposals, too.

The NIL blitz from states is occurring in a year that could redefine the nature of college athlete compensation. We’ve already watched #NotNCAAProperty go viral, then get pushed aside by Mark Emmert. We’ve seen congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle push for federal NIL legislation. Plus, Senator Cory Booker recently told Deadspin that there’s a “real window of opportunity” for his College Athlete Bill of Rights to pass. To top it off, The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about college athlete compensation today.

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As long as the NCAA postpones its own NIL proposals, expect more states to act. Or, who knows, the Supreme Court could shake things up even more.