On April 16, 2021, the governor of Mississippi signed Senate Bill 2313 (i.e., the “Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation Act”) into law permitting student-athletes enrolled in a “postsecondary educational institution” in Mississippi 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. Mississippi becomes the seventh state to enact legislation that permits student-athletes to accept compensation for their names, images, and likenesses (following California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New Mexico). The law goes into effect on July 1, 2021.
In most respects, the Mississippi act is similar to predecessor acts enacted in California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New Mexico. 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 following:
The Mississippi act also makes it clear that student-athletes are deemed to be employees or independent contractors of an association, a conference, or a postsecondary educational institution based on the student-athlete’s participation in an intercollegiate athletics program. Additionally, postsecondary educational institution may impose reasonable limitations on the dates and time that a student-athlete may participate in endorsement, promotional, social media or other activities related to the license or use of the student-athlete’s name, image and likeness.
Like Florida and New Jersey, the Mississippi act requires student-athletes obtaining legal representation to use lawyers licensed by the State of Mississippi. Also, athlete agents are required to comply with the terms of the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (Section 73-42-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972) and the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act (i.e., SPARTA).