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College athletes can be paid for ads, promotional deals under new Michigan law

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Shea Patterson, No. 2 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to get around the tackle of Khari Willis, No. 27 of the Michigan State Spartans, during a first quarter run at Spartan Stadium on Oct. 20, 2018, in East Lansing, Michigan. (WWMT/Getty Images, Gregory Shamus)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Wednesday, allowing college athletes to be paid for promotional deals.

The law marked the first time in Michigan history that athletes could use their own name, likeness, and reputation for financial compensation. Whitmer signed the bill into law Dec. 30, 2020.

“For years we have all enjoyed the incredible talent of young athletes across the state. This legislation will change the lives of young men and women for years to come,” Whitmer said. “As only the second state in the nation to pass this historic legislation, I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation today on behalf of our current and future student athletes. I am hopeful that the NCAA will set a national standard so that all players across the country are afforded the same opportunities. As always stay safe and go green!”

The bills would allow players from any sport in all divisions to use agents to earn money. However, students cannot enter into an apparel contract that conflicts with the apparel contracts of their school, and must disclose contracts to their school prior to signing.

Michigan officials said the bills do not establish the right for students to use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property, and logos of schools, associations, or conferences.

Michigan was the second state to pass and sign legislation surrounding the compensation of student athletes.

The law takes affect Dec. 31, 2022.