SALEM, Ore. — A bill that allows Oregon college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday.
California paved the way in 2019, adopting a law scheduled to take effect in 2023 that would allow college athletes to make money from endorsement deals. The state did so against stiff opposition from the NCAA. Since then, several other states have joined the push to compensate college athletes, even jumping ahead of California's original timeline.
“This bill is historic … I wish Oregon was the first to do it,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem). “Our college athletes have not been treated fairly. They sacrifice everything for their universities… their bodies, their relationships, their academics. Meanwhile, the NCAA and universities are making millions off their hard work… from tickets, merchandise, and concessions, all the way to college enrollment."
The new law will go into effect on July 1 of this year, giving college athletes the right to sign contracts for endorsement deals and appearance fees. Student athletes will also be allowed to retain professional representation, which is supposed to increase fairness during contract negotiations.
“We are giving our athletes back what is rightfully theirs: their name, their image, their likeness. This should have been done a long time ago. It should have come from the NCAA and our universities. This is just the beginning. We must keep working to make sure our college athletes are treated fairly.”