On April 20, 2021, the governor of Alabama signed House Bill 404 into law permitting student-athletes enrolled in a “postsecondary educational institution” in Alabama to be paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses, to hire representatives to represent student-athletes’ interests, and declaring that a student-athlete may not be compelled to forfeit his/her rights in order to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Alabama becomes the eighth state to enact legislation that permits student-athletes to accept compensation for their names, images, and likenesses (following California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Mississippi,). The law goes into effect on July 1, 2021.
In most respects, the Alabama act is similar to predecessor acts enacted in California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Mississippi. In pertinent part, the act provides a student-athlete may:
The act further provides, in pertinent part, that postsecondary educational institutions and governing bodies may not:
In turn, student-athletes are required to or prohibited from doing the using their names, images, and likenesses in the following circumstances:
Each postsecondary educational institution shall conduct financial literacy and life skills programming for student-athletes. At a minimum, the programming must include information concerning financial aid and debt management, as well as recommended model budgets for student athletes based on that academic year’s estimated cost of attendance and the various scholarship statuses of student-athletes at the institution. The programming shall also include information on time management skills necessary for success as a student athlete and available academic resources. The programming may not include any marketing, advertising, referral, or solicitation by providers of financial products or services. However, a postsecondary educational institution is not required to provide tax guidance or financial safeguards to student-athletes outside of the programming required above.