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Politics

DeWine Signs Name, Image and Likeness Executive Order For Ohio's College Athletes

 Gov. DeWine signs Name, Image & Likeness Executive Order on June 28, 2021 in Columbus as lawmakers and Ohio State University administrators look on.
Dan Konik
/
Ohio Public Radio
Gov. DeWine signs Name, Image & Likeness Executive Order on June 28, 2021 in Columbus as lawmakers and Ohio State University administrators look on.

After a bill that would allow college athletes in Ohio to profit from their name, image or likeness became ensnared in Statehouse politics last week, Gov. DeWine took the issue in his own hands by signing an executive order.

Ohio State University lobbied hard for the bill that would allow players to enter contracts for payments from businesses – something top players in some other states are allowed to do.

Last week, Ohio State football coach Ryan Day, athletic director Gene Smith and former quarterback Cardale Jones testified in support of the Ohio House bill. A dozen states have already already passed similar legislation.

The bill was popular with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, but even popular bills can have a hard time getting through the Ohio Legislature sometimes.

Last week, the Ohio House passed it but not before majority Republicans attached a bill that bans transgender kids from participating in girls sports program in high schools and colleges.

Democrats in the Ohio House were angered by the decision to link the two bills. Many in the Ohio Senate weren’t happy about it either, saying the transgender bill should be debated on its own merits.

The Senate passed its own Name, Image and Likeness bill but lawmakers there attached a sports gambling amendment that was unpopular with the House.

DeWine signed an executive order that basically does what the legislation would do, if it were passed. And unlike legislation, the executive order takes effect now, before July 1 when similar legislation in at least seven other states takes effect.

“Even if legislation is passed, it’s not going to take effect for 90 days so it is important to do this now," DeWine said.

This executive order means OSU can promise its athletes they will also be able to profit from their name, image or likeness beginning with this school year and football season.

Athletes would not be allowed to enter contracts that promote marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and casinos

As for the bill itself, Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) said he'll continue to push for its passage. It could also be added to the yet to be approved state budget. Passing it in a law would give it permanence that it won't have as an executive order.

Ohio State has partnered with Columbus-based Anomaly Sports Group for name, image and likeness education.