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Football players could be paid for endorsements under bill given final OK by Nebraska Legislature

Football players could be paid for endorsements under bill given final OK by Nebraska Legislature

Only $3 for 13 weeks

LINCOLN — Nebraska football players and other student-athletes could get paid for endorsing or promoting products under a bill given final approval on Tuesday by the State Legislature.

Legislative Bill 962, or the "Fair Pay to Play Act," was introduced by Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt, and was patterned after a California law passed last fall.

On a 35-6 vote, state senators sent the bill to Gov. Pete Ricketts for his approval or veto.

At least 20 other states have introduced similar laws — and two states have passed them — to allow college athletes to get a piece of the $14 billion college athletics industry. LB 962 was introduced amid a nationwide debate over whether college athletes should be paid.

Hunt said Tuesday that college athletes are the only students who cannot now earn money through the use of their name, interest or likeness rights.

LB 962, she said, will allow them to "earn a wage for their talent and skill" like other students.

The bill, if given final approval by the governor, wouldn’t go into effect until June 2023 to give colleges and athletes time to adjust. But Hunt has said that date could be moved up if regulations change on the federal or NCAA level.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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