On March 20, 2020, Governor Jared S. Polis signed Colorado Senate Bill 20-123 into law permitting student-athletes enrolled in an institution of higher education in Colorado to be paid for the use of his/her name, image or likeness, 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. In pertinent part, the act provides as follows:
Neither the institution nor the athletic association are permitted to:
The act, however, requires student-athletes to comply with following:
Any student-athlete who is aggrieved by an institution or athlete association is permitted to seek injunctive relief.
The law is not without awkwardness and confusing language. As stated above, the law prohibits an institution or athletic association from preventing a student-athlete from using his/her name, image, or likeness for compensation. However, another section of the law states “[e]xcept as may be required by the rules or requirements of an athletic association of which an institution is a member, an institution shall not uphold any rule, requirement, standard, or other limitation that prevents a student-athlete” from earning compensation for use of his/her name, image, or likeness. Obviously, current NCAA legislation has “rules or requirements” prohibiting student-athletes from using his/her name, image, or likeness for compensation.
The legislation takes effect on January 1, 2023.