Governor Bill Lee signs Tennessee Name, Image and Likeness Bill

Tennessee became the 15th state to pass a bill allowing college athletes to earn money using their name, image and likeness.

On Tuesday evening, Governor Bill Lee signed Internal bill 1351, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2022. Tennessee is the latest state to sign a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) bill.

Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and New Mexico have VOID laws that come into effect July 1.

Some states are get ahead of the NCAA, which was considering changing its NIL rules. It’s a move that would fundamentally change an amateurish system that prevents athletes from participating in endorsement deals, monetizing their social media followers, or getting paid to sign autographs at a company that generates billions of dollars for their schools.

But the NCAA’s proposals would conflict with the provisions of state laws.

The Tennessee bill would affect college athletes in both men’s and women’s sports, but especially high performance teams. There are four FBS Division I college football teams in the state: University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, University of Memphis, and Middle Tennessee State University.

Tennessee’s new bill reads:

The bill also says that an institution cannot pass rules that prevent or unduly restrict athletes from earning compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness.

However, the institution may prohibit certain uses of an athlete’s name, image or likeness if it reasonably considers that there is a conflict with the values ​​of the institution. For example, an athlete cannot promote gambling, tobacco, alcohol and adults


This story will be updated.

Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY, contributed to this report. Contact Adam Sparks at and on Twitter @AdamSparks.

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