HARRISBURG, PA — Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf joined Penn State University (PSU) athletes, university leadership and lawmakers at Beaver Stadium to celebrate the passing of Act 26 of 2021 allowing Pennsylvania collegiate athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
The governor was joined by student athletes including speakers Anna Camden and Jahan Dotson, President Eric Barron, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour, Senator Jake Corman, and Representative Ed Gainey.
“Pennsylvania is home to many outstanding student-athletes who devote countless hours of their time, effort, and passion to achievement both in the classroom and on the field,” said. Gov. Wolf. “This new chapter for athletes across Pennsylvania will allow collegiate athletes to finally earn compensation for endorsements without sacrifice to the sport they have dedicated much of their lives to play.”
Act 26 of 2021 amends the Public School Code to allow athletes at Pennsylvania colleges to earn money from endorsements, such as sponsorships and appearances, and still be allowed to compete. Act 26 does not allow student athletes to receive payment for playing a sport or athletic achievement; rather, Pennsylvania’s new law provides student athletes with an opportunity to benefit financially from their NIL.
“At Penn State, our 800+ varsity student athletes have raised the bar for dedication, work ethic and pursuit of excellence,” said Pres. Barron. “They pursue challenging academic programs and spend rigorous and exhausting hours practicing. They compete at the highest levels, and contribute to campus life in countless ways. Our student athletes are an impressive group, and it’s our responsibility to do everything possible to ensure their success beyond college.
“Name, Image and Likeness rights is an important step in realizing that goal. And we appreciate that Pennsylvania has enacted a bill that gives student athletes the ability to earn compensation based on their NIL.”
“We’re excited for our student-athletes and this opportunity made possible by the Pennsylvania NIL law,” Vice Pres. Barbour said. “Our students now have an opportunity to capitalize on their name, image and likeness, and engage in entrepreneurial activity and exploration, which will serve them well from a skill building and experience perspective, as well as the opportunity to be compensated. This is the right step in allowing student-athletes the same opportunities that all students on campuses have always enjoyed. We are appreciative of the Governor and Legislature’s leadership and support.”
“This step toward fairness for athletes aligns with changes taking place in other states and at the national level within the NCAA,” said. Gov. Wolf. “It will also help to ensure that Pennsylvania colleges and universities remain competitive to future athletic prospects. This is an exciting moment for athletes and colleges in Pennsylvania, and I am proud to sign the law allowing for these opportunities.”
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