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NIL legislation for college athletes up for discussion in General Assembly

JMU merchandise found at the University Outpost.
JMU merchandise found at the University Outpost.(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) - The General Assembly is meeting once again this week in Richmond, where legislators will discuss possible regulations on NIL agreements for college athletes.

Earlier this summer the NCAA Board of Directors adopted a new policy allowing student-athletes to get paid for using their Name, Image, or Likeness (NIL).

Many colleges in the Commonwealth laid out their own policies with few restrictions on July 1 like James Madison University. Kevin Warner with JMU Athletics says while the policy has few restrictions, it may need to change depending on what’s approved in Richmond.

“We were also very clear when we released that policy, that we needed a framework from day one,” Warner said. “But that policy only really lasts until the point that there’s any other hierarchical legislation that would change that.”

Part of the list of regulations found on the proposed budget bill would prohibit student-athletes from working with casinos, alcohol products, adult entertainment, cannabis, weapons and tobacco or electronic smoking product companies.

Warner says since before change was made to allow student-athletes to receive compensation, staff have worked to educate students on which type of organizations may be best to work with.

“We have focused more on education for our student-athletes to understand while there are not restrictions, here are things you should know about choosing to align with this type of entity,” Warner said.

Warner says as of August they have had some student-athletes go through the university’s requirements to work with businesses for compensation.

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