Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid during 2013 season
Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid during 2013 season

Missouri is one of sixteen states that have enacted legislation allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. However, Kansas legislators failed to send a similar bill to the governor’s desk this session, putting the state’s elite college programs at a recruiting disadvantage to Missoui and other states that passed similar bills.  

NCAA rules currently prohibit athletes from receiving any type of compensation other than a scholarship for participating in college sports. This law would not change the prohibition on direct payment by a college or university, but it would allow college athletes to be compensated in other ways.

“I like it. I do. It’s probably long overdue, in some aspects, because athletes generate a lot of fanfare, a lot of energy, a lot of revenue,”said Cuonzo Martin Missouri head basketball coach. 

Due to the legislation not being passed in the Kansas senate, Recruiters from Kansas colleges, like Wichita State and KSU, are at a major disadvantage.

KU head basketball coach Bill Self is aware of the handicap this places on his program. 

“If you’re recruiting a kid in Kansas City, if he picks Missouri over Kansas, we’re dealing with apples and oranges. It’s not going to be an even playing field,” Self told the Kansas City Star. 

Some Kansas legislators have been fighting against progress within college sports.

In April Governor Kelly vetoed a name, image and likeness bill for Kansas collegiate athletes after Kansas Republicans tied passage of the bill to the approval of a ban on transgender athletes in school sports drew scorn Thursday from Gov. Laura Kelly.

Senate Bill 55, an anti-transgender bill would have prohibited transgender girls and women from participating in sports that are consistent with their gender identity at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. 

The Kansas legislature can not take the bill up again until they’re back in session in 2021.

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