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Sports

Michigan Lawmakers OK Bills To Let College Athletes Be Paid

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Lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to bills that would clear the way for college athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images or likeness rights — putting Michigan on the cusp of becoming at least the fourth state with such a law.

In-state schools, the NCAA and athletic conferences could not block student-athletes from being compensated under a bill that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign. A second measure would no longer make it a crime for agents to enter into contracts with student-athletes.

The NCAA, pressured by states that started acting on their own, is drawing up new rules to let athletes become paid sponsors — able to earn money for endorsement deals, for appearances and for promoting products or events on social media accounts.

Michigan’s legislation, approved 35-3 by the Senate, largely would take effect starting in 2023. California, Florida and Colorado also have enacted laws targeting the NCAA’s ban on compensation for college athletes.

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