Gov. Mike DeWine signs NIL into law, keeps Buckeyes on level playing field

Pete Nakos3 months
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Ryan Day Gene Smith by Birm
Ohio State coach Ryan Day and athletic director Gene Smith joined the fight for NIL legislation. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — The State of Ohio will not fall behind in the Name, Image and Likeness game.

After a month-long rush to have the legislation become law in the state, Senate Bill 187 hit a rocky bump last week in the state house when a ban on transgender girls participating in girls and women’s sports was added. The addition threw off plans for the legislation to easily pass before the July 1.

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine took control and signed an executive order allowing all student-athletes in the state of Ohio to profit of their own Name, Image and Likeness. This comes days before multiple states, including Alabama and Florida, are set to have NIL laws enacted.

For the Buckeyes, having the legislation become law before Thursday was crucial to staying competitive in recruiting. The state of Ohio entered the game late and rushed to play catch-up with the rest of the nation. While the federal government and NCAA have scrambled to set rules in place before July 1, other states prepared for NIL laws to begin.

Ohio-State-football-Buckeyes

Ohio State is ready to attack the new world of NIL. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) introduced the bill in late May, stating expectations of having NIL passed in time. Everything seemed on track as an emergency clause was attached and Buckeyes coach Ryan Day testified in front of multiple committees about the importance of legalizing NIL in a timely manner. Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones also joined the fight, talking about how the bill would have benefited him during his playing days.

But the emergency clause that would’ve allowed the senate bill to become law by July 1 was thrown out last week, the same day the anti-transgender language was introduced.

“Because so many other states have or will enact legislation similar to Senate Bill 187, this has quickly become an issue for recruiting,” Day said last week in front of the Ohio House state and local government committee. “If state legislation is not enacted, higher education institutions in Ohio will struggle to attract student-athletes who now can capitalize on their name, image and likeness elsewhere, including the state up north.”

The Buckeyes are ready to attack the new world of student-athletes benefiting on their NIL, though. They have introduced a program named The Platform, which allows Ohio State student-athletes to take advantage of NIL education programming via Opendorse Ready + Darlow Rules.

Now that NIL is law in Ohio, the Buckeyes can equip it as a recruiting tool as they build championship-winning rosters.