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New bill for Student-Athlete compensation sparks discussions on future opportunities



Little Rock, Arkansas – Arkansas lawmakers filed a new bill on Thursday “that would amend the Arkansas Student-Athlete Publicity Rights Act allowing those individuals to have the right to receive compensation.”

Representative Matthew Shephard, the lead sponsor on HB1649, explained that the bill would give student-athletes who have signed a national letter of intent or written agreement to enroll in a state college the right to enter into a contract and receive compensation for the commercial use of their publicity rights.

The bill also requires state colleges, their supporting foundations, or authorized entities to facilitate opportunities for student-athletes to earn compensation for commercial use and to compensate them for their publicity rights.

According to the bill, publicity rights include a student-athletes use of “name, nicknames, trademarks, service marks, landmarks, trade dress, uniforms, logos, images,” and other such items. Little Rock Central High School Junior, Annor Boateng, who is ranked number one for the top basketball players in the state on some sports websites, expressed his support for the bill, stating that “Having that compensation on the side will definitely help you throughout college and even now getting it early can help you build up that fortune and expand into different businesses.”

Fort Smith Southside High School Senior Kage Castling, who signed his letter of intent to play for Ottawa University in Kansas, also expressed his approval of the act, saying “Actually, that sounds really good.” Castling shared his excitement about continuing to play football, which he started playing at a young age, and expressed his gratitude for the opportunities it has provided him.

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