Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has signed an executive order allowing college athletes in Kentucky to profit off of their name, image and likeness. The ground-breaking order will be put into effect next week.
“Today’s step was done in cooperation with all of our public universities as well as leadership of both parties,” Beshear said. “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. For any individual athlete, their name, image and likeness are their own and no one else’s.”
This move was of course applauded by the state’s public universities, UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart expressing his thanks for the order in the state’s press release.
“Today’s executive order from the Governor provides us the flexibility we need at this time to further develop policies around name, image and likeness,” he said. “We are appreciative of that support as it is a bridge until such time as state and/or federal laws are enacted. The landscape of college sports is now in the midst of dramatic and historic change – perhaps the biggest set of shifts and changes since scholarships were first awarded decades ago. What won’t change is our core and most important principle – the well-being and development of our student athletes, while they are at UK and, as importantly, in preparing them for success in life, on whatever path they choose.”
There were concerns in the commonwealth that Kentucky might fall behind other states in allowing such measures. With NCAA President Mark Emmert determined to have guidelines for NIL Rights on July 1 according to The Athletic, many schools have been preparing for such a gigantic movement in college sports. Now, folks around each program in the Bluegrass State will have an equal chance at this opportunity.
What follows the executive order will in itself be a mystery considering NIL Rights have never been allowed for college athletes, but what is sure to be happened as I type this article is phone calls from coaches to recruits and businesses to schools setting up future deals.
History in the making, my friends.