Virginia lawmakers have approved a bill that allows college athletes to maintain deals, more protection

Virginia lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill that requires state colleges to allow student-athletes to sign support agreements.

Virginia lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill that requires state colleges to allow student-athletes to sign support agreements.

The move came after the NCAA approved a temporary policy last summer that opened the door for college athletes to sign name, image and similarity agreements, also called NIL contracts.

The legislature backed the measure on Wednesday by 96 votes to 4.



Lawmakers said they would like to provide more protection for college players and outline the types of contracts that student-athletes can sign. Under the bill, universities cannot block or fine an athlete who signs an NIL contract.

In addition, a student scholarship from their university cannot be revoked if they agree to an approval agreement.

“We want to make sure that at every level of an athlete’s career they are not in a bad contract,” Del Marcia told SIA Price, D-Newport News.

But players also have a certain responsibility. They may not use the name or logo of their university without permission. And they have to give up contracts involving businesses that sell alcohol, adult entertainment, tobacco or illegal drugs.

Last month, lawmakers in the Senate unanimously voted in favor of their version of the bill. The next step: the signature of Governor Glen Yangkin.

Price wrote a similar bill that was passed this week, potentially protecting high school athletes from predatory deals.

“Especially when there are uncertain economic times, exploitation can be very poor and we just want to protect players who are children,” Price said.

She said it was time for young athletes to start seeing the benefits of their hard work on the field and on the court.

“For college students across the state, it means they own it,” Price said. “They can make money on who they are and what they do, especially since they can’t make money for the amazing work they do in teams that make quite a bit of money.”

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