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Virginia law allows state's schools to directly pay athletes for NIL

Chet Strange / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Virginia’s governor signed a law Thursday that allows the state’s colleges and universities to directly pay athletes through name, image and likeness deals.

The law signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin bypasses an NCAA rule that prevents schools from paying athletes under NIL guidelines. It takes effect on July 1.

NIL rules, enacted in 2021, allow college athletes to agree to deals with local and national businesses that compensate them for advertising or personal appearances. At some schools, it has led to players being granted brand new trucks to drive throughout the season — for example — or other amenities that are seen by many as giving the school a recruiting advantage.

“If this law gets us closer to a federal or a national solution for college athletics then it will be more than worthwhile,” University of Virginia athletic director Carla Williams told ESPN. “Until then, we have an obligation to ensure we maintain an elite athletics program at UVA.”


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