STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) — Governor Tom Wolf threw his support behind the new law allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness without penalty from the NCAA.
“Now, our athletes will no longer be forced to choose between receiving fair compensation and continuing to play. You’ll be able to do both,” Governor Tom Wolf said.READ MORE: Allegheny County Health Director Says Delta Variant Is Fueling Rising Cases, Hospitalizations
The governor said Act 26 ensures that the commonwealth will remain competitive in attracting top student-athletes.
“It will give top athletes a guarantee that they will be treated fairly here in Pennsylvania by ensuring that athletes in other states aren’t receiving benefits that Pennsylvania students-athletes might miss out on,” he added.
There are some limits on what student-athletes can do under Pennsylvania’s new NIL law.
They cannot be compensated in connection with adult entertainment, alcohol, casinos, gambling, betting, tobacco, vaping, prescription drugs or illegal drugs.
They must also report contracts to their schools and schools and athletic leagues cannot be required to help student-athletes earn compensation.READ MORE: 'Itchy Mites:' Preventing Bites And The Itch That Comes With A Mite Bite
KDKA’s Royce Jones spoke with the director of compliance in the Duquesne University Athletics Department, Rick Christensen.
He says the university has actually hired an outside consulting firm to provide student-athletes with education about their name, image and likeness.
Their in-house brand manager is also involved, helping coach them on ways they can engage with sports fans on social media and promote themselves in a positive light.
A lot of this has actually been in place for months because university leaders wanted to get ahead of the curve. But there are many things they’re still working out.
“It could impact their financial aid qualifications because it’s additional compensation of employment they’re earning that potentially they gotta pay taxes on,” said Christensen.
To make sure students are not being exploited, Duquesne is highly involved in the process as they’re supposed to be by state law which requires student-athletes to notify their university no less than 7 days before moving forward with a deal.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Temperatures Continue Rising On Thursday
Right now just a handful of athletes at Duquesne are taking advantage of the new law but it’s expected to pick up in the fall when students come back to campus.