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Relating to the compensation and professional representation of
student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletic
programs at certain institutions of higher education.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1385 would create a framework to allow student athletes to earn compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness. Some significant provisions of the bill (but not an exhaustive list) are described below.
The bill would prohibit a public or private institution of higher education from restricting a student athlete's ability to earn compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness when the student-athlete is not engaged in official team activities, or prohibit them from obtaining professional representation, including representation by an athlete agent or attorney for certain purposes. The bill would also prohibit an institution from providing or soliciting a prospective student athlete with compensation in relation to the athlete's name, image, or likeness.
The bill stipulates that a scholarship, grant, or other financial assistance covering the cost of attending the institution is not considered compensation. The bill also prohibits disqualification of student athletes from scholarships, grants, or other assistance on the basis of their earning compensation from the use of their name, image, or likeness when not engaged in official team activities or because they obtain professional representation.
An institution would be prohibited from prescribing a team contract that prohibits or prevents a student athlete from using the athlete's name, image, or likeness for commercial purposes.
A student athlete would be required to disclose to the institution any proposed contract the student may sign. The bill would prohibit the student from entering into a contract for use of the student's name, image, or likeness if the contract conflicts with a provision of the student athlete's team contract, a provision of an institutional contract, a policy of the athletic department, or a provision of the honor code of the institution, among other things.
The bill would prohibit a student athlete from entering into a contract to use their name, image, or likeness in exchange for endorsement of certain products including tobacco products, e-cigarettes, gambling, alcohol, a firearm the student athlete cannot legally purchase, alcohol, or other enumerated items.
SB 1385 would prohibit institutions of higher education from restricting student-athletes ability to earn compensation based on the use of their name, image, or likeness, thus giving student-athletes more liberty than they currently enjoy. However, the bill could be improved by removing the restriction on what types of endorsements adult student-athletes may make. Any restriction beyond that which would prohibit unlawful activity infringes on individual liberty. Texas Action supports SB 1385 and recommends it be amended to remove restrictions from otherwise lawful activities.