Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day Testifies In Favor Of Name, Image And Likeness Legislation

Day noted how the Buckeyes would be at a disadvantage on the recruiting trail without the bill's passage.
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Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day appeared in front of the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee on Tuesday afternoon to testify in favor of the state’s proposed name, image and likeness legislation.

Day was joined by State Senator Niraj Antani, who – along with athletic director Gene Smithannounced the bill during a press conference at the Covelli Center last month. He expressed the importance of the bill's quick passage so that the Buckeyes, or any other program in the state, for that matter, aren’t at a recruiting disadvantage starting on July 1, when legislation in other states is set to take effect.

“I suggest federal legislation will need to be adopted on the NIL issue to allow for fair and uniform name, image and likeness opportunities for America’s student-athletes,” Day said during the hearing, which was streamed live on The Ohio Channel. “Until that occurs, Ohio student-athletes cannot be left behind. We were hopeful that federal law and NCAA actions would make legislation in Ohio unnecessary, but it is now clear that enactment of state legislation will be necessary to keep our state and our student-athletes on a level playing field.

“For the benefit of Ohio student-athletes in all NCAA divisions, the state needs to enact a measure allowing student-athletes within our borders to benefit in the same manner as athletes in other parts of the country. If the legislation is not enacted, higher education institutions in Ohio will likely struggle to attract student-athletes who will suddenly have the opportunity to better capitalize on their name, image likeness at an out-of-state institution."

So far, 16 states have passed legislation regarding name, image and likeness, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee. Six of those laws – Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico – will go into effect in July.

"It would really severely damage us in recruiting moving forward,” said Day, who was notably absent from Ohio State’s one-day recruiting camp on Tuesday. “We're in June right now, and we're having many families and recruits come through.

“For us to be in a situation where they could go to another state, another institution, and have the opportunity to make money off their name, image or likeness, but not do that in the state of Ohio would put us in a severe disadvantage that would have effects for a long time."

Shortly after the bill was introduced, Ohio State announced a partnership with Opendorse, a sports technology company based in Lincoln, Neb., to create “THE Platform,” which will help educate student-athletes on how to capitalize on their name, image and likeness.

"Right now, if there's somebody who has a certain talent and they want to put it on social media or on YouTube, and they want to go make certain money off of their name, their image, or their likeness, even outside of football, they're not allowed to do that," Day said.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the committee unanimously passed the proposal to the full Senate.

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