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New York Senate passes revised NIL legislation that 'greatly benefits state schools'

Jeremy Crabtreeby:Jeremy Crabtree06/08/23


While college stakeholders are in Washington, D.C., pleading for federal reform, another state has taken a step to make it easier for its local schools to support NIL activities and avoid NCAA oversight.

With the legislative session about to end, the amendment to New York’s NIL law officially passed the Senate on Thursday. The bill has now passed both houses in the Empire State. It now heads to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk. Only Sen. Patrick Gallivan voted against the bill.

NIL expert and Newman & Lickstein associate attorney Dan Greene recently told On3 the New York bill would “drastically change the Empire State’s NIL law in a way that would greatly benefit schools within the state.”

Live Blog: NCAA president believes there’s support for federal NIL reform

Interestingly, Greene said the language of the New York bill is almost identical to what recently passed in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma bill was chock-full of changes that significantly benefited Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and other local colleges when recruiting and retaining student-athletes who also want to capitalize off NIL. Now it appears to be a similar situation – if it’s signed as expected – for top New York schools like Syracuse, St. John’s, and the slew of D-I basketball programs.

What’s in the New York bill?

The Empire State bill includes a section that appears to provide cover for state schools from being punished by the NCAA for any NIL-related violations, including any committed by collectives set up to support student-athletes through deal facilitation.

According to the bill: “An athletic association, conference, or other group or organization with authority over intercollegiate athletes, including, but not limited to the NCAA, and shall not authorize its member institutions to penalize or prevent a college from participation in intercollegiate athletics because an individual or entity whose purpose includes supporting or benefitting the college or its athletic programs or student-athletes violates the collegiate athletic association’s rules or regulations with regard to a student-athlete’s name, image, or likeness activities.”

The proposal in New York further highlights the NCAA’s struggles to slow down the momentum on the state level for NIL law revisions, especially now that it’s not the states that are football hotbeds that are proposing changes.

“I’m glad to see my home state take a proactive approach to NIL at the state government level,” Greene, who is from Syracuse, N.Y., said. “It’s definitely a change from about six months ago. The focus has been on ‘football’ legislatures. But other state legislators should be aware of the ever-changing NIL landscape.”

Lawmakers in Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Texas have sponsored or passed these types of bills. Plus, NIL entities in Arkansas and Texas have opened the door for compensation models that have a closer connection to the school which is against the NCAA’s policy.