The Missouri state legislature took further action to help the state’s public colleges in the world of athlete name, image and likeness. The state House and Senate passed an amendment to house bill 417, an unrelated piece of legislation that would give “grants to employers to encourage employees to obtain upskill credentials.”
The amendment was brought by state Sen. Nick Schroer of St. Charles, a Republican representing the second district. The original bill is sponsored by Rep. Mike Henderson, another Republican from District 117.
The amendment, if it became law, would provide more leeway during the recruiting process to both schools and players and try to protect institutions from punishment from the NCAA and other organizations. The bill passed through the House by a vote of 113-41.
It now awaits Gov. Mike Parson’s signature to become law.
What does the amendment do?
According to the amendment, high school athletes in the state of Missouri would be allowed to take NIL deals, as long as they’ve signed a national letter of intent with a public institution in the state. They will also be allowed to discuss NIL opportunities with coaches while being recruited.
The new law would also make it illegal for the NCAA or conferences to punish schools to discuss future NIL possibilities with recruits. Players could also be allowed to use school logos in their NIL activities, so long as it does not conflict with any deal held by the university or otherwise negatively impact the institution.
All NIL deal terms collected by the university would be protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It would also make the terms of the NIL contract a closed record and not publicly accessible.
The amendment allows coaches and other school employees to help athletes negotiate NIL deals, by removing a section of the previous law governing the NIL that prohibited that.
NIL deals cannot be impacted by athletic performance.
What’s the impact of the amendment?
After Parsons signs the bill, Missouri will become a state with one of the loosest NIL laws in the country. Coaches for the Tigers will legally be allowed to discuss NIL deals for recruits during the process, bringing certain conversations on the table.
The bill could also help MU football head coach Eli Drinkwitz in his stated quest to keep the best Missouri football talent in state. Players at Missouri high schools might be more incentivized to commit to the Tigers and sign their letter of intent, given that they can immediately start earning money once they do so.
It could also cause the Tigers to sign players earlier. Basketball recruits can sign in November of their senior years, and football prospects in December.
Coaches can also try and make sure their players are getting the best possible deals, by sitting in negotiations. Having more professionals at their side during that process could become another recruiting advantage for the Tigers and other schools in the state.
How did Missouri coaches react?
Missouri athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois, football coach Eli Drinkwitz, men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates and women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton were in Jefferson City for the passage of the amendment.
“Game Changer,” Drinkwitz said in a social media post on Tuesday, showing his presence in the chamber.
Pingeton also posted a photo from Jefferson City, and all four posed with state Sen. Caleb Rowden, who posted the picture on his Twitter account.
“Big day down in Jeff City,” Pingeton said in her post.
Gates issued special thanks to state Rep. Kurtis Gregory, who played football at MU and has been a champion of the university’s NIL efforts.
“Thanks (Gregory) for the work you & our lawmakers continue to do,” the basketball coach said.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: How Missouri NIL law change could impact Mizzou athletics