Compensation for amateur athletes approved

Nebraska college and university athletes can earn income under a bill passed by the Legislature July 21.

Sen. Megan Hunt
Sen. Megan Hunt

LB962, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt, allows college athletes at public and private schools to earn money from their name, image and likeness rights.

The bill prohibits any postsecondary institution or athletic association from penalizing or punishing a student athlete who enters into a commercial contract, as long as it does not directly conflict with a team contract.

Student athletes will be required to report any personal contracts to their postsecondary institution and will be barred from wearing a sponsor’s apparel or otherwise advertising for the sponsor during official team activities.

LB962 also allows student athletes to obtain professional representation to negotiate related contractual or legal matters. An athlete may seek civil damages against their postsecondary institution or athletic association if they believe their right to seek compensation has been violated.

Any compensation earned by a student athlete will be factored into any application for need-based financial aid. Schools also will have until July 1, 2023, to implement a framework for handling student athlete compensation.

LB962 includes a one-year statute of limitation from the cause of action for any student filing a civil complaint against his or her school.

The bill passed on a 37-6 vote.

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