Governor Beshear Signs NIL Orders, What is Kentucky’s Future?
By Taylor Hatton
Yesterday afternoon Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear, signed an executive order, banning colleges in the state of Kentucky from restricting student athletes from receiving fair compensation for their name, image, and likeness. The controversial law will be going into effect July 1st, and comes just a couple of days after the monumental Supreme Court ruling in the case National College Athletic Association v. Alston, in which the Court decided in a 9-0 decision that the NCAA could not withhold relatively small payments to student athletes. Now for context, the Supreme Court case was in reference to items such as books, laptops, and other educational needs, but the collegiate sports world all knew it was just a matter of time before the big changes started to happen.
The state of Kentucky spent no time waiting to take action. Governor Beshear cites the disadvantage schools in this state would suffer from, as a factor for the new laws, “This action ensures we are not at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting, and also that our student-athletes have the same rights and opportunities as those in other states.” As of this moment, only 16 states have newly signed NIL laws in effect and Kentucky did not want to be behind in the race. Both the Athletic Directors for both Kentucky and Louisville have put out official statements praising the new law. Kentucky Basketball coach, John Calipari, had this to say about the changes, “At the University of Kentucky, we have always put student-athletes first and today’s executive order by Gov. Beshear – who I want to thank for making this a priority – will empower universities across the state to support their young men and women better than ever. Whether we are talking about name, image and likeness, lifetime scholarships, financial literacy, health and wellness, or player welfare, student-athletes have been at the center of every decision at Kentucky...”. The Kentucky Wildcats head football coach Mark Stoops also praised the decision, “Supporting our student-athletes is at the center of Kentucky Athletics and today’s announcement is another step in that direction,”.
College athletics in this state have changed forever. The question now is; for good or for ill? I don’t have the answer to that question. What I do know however, is that the possibility for opportunity for these college athletes are endless. There will be a couple of years for the NCAA and the schools to figure out how this whole process will work. These first couple of years I believe, will be controversial in figuring out how NIL rules will work in today's modern game. But the impact this will have with recruiting for the programs in this state cannot be understated. Every coach in this state can go into a recruit’s living room and the kids will listen, because money talks. Sports in this state will be different for sure, but as with all changes in life we will adjust and adapt to them, and I see a bright future over the horizon for college sports in the Bluegrass State.