Conn. (WTNH) — College athletes in Connecticut will soon be able to make money off their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

It’s included in the higher education bill state lawmakers passed overnight Wednesday, June 9. On June 30, Gov. Ned Lamont signed it into law.

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Starting Sept. 1, 2021, college athletes in the state can be paid for endorsements, social media content, sponsorship deals, and personal appearances.

The law supersedes current NCAA rules prohibiting that type of compensation for athletes. The NCAA is considering adopting rules that would allow all Division I athletes to make money this way.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said of the bill, “They want more than just to be shown the money. They want more than just NIL, they want a strong, enforceable standard.”

Jim Penders, UConn Head Baseball Coach, told News 8 Wednesday, “I don’t think there’s gonna be a ton of kids that benefit from it. The ones that should will, and it’s gonna be something else for the NCAA to govern, but overall I think it’s a positive step forward.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) added, “If they get injured they never get a chance to make any money off of their talents. Meanwhile, during their college careers, everybody else gets to
make money off of their exploits. The coach, the athletic director, the shoe company executive. They all make millions of dollars off of these kids.”

Gonzaga Head Basketball Coach Mark Few spoke at the NIL hearing. The one drawback: it could lead to unfair advantages in recruiting.