Derek Slap


Derek Slap



April 20, 2022

Student-Athletes To Benefit From Bill Just Passed By Senate

Senator Slap: “Allowing student-athletes at Connecticut schools to use their school’s logo will generate more endorsement deals and help schools compete for athletes.”

HARTFORD – Today, the State Senate passed a so-called “name, image and likeness” bill, making it easier for student-athletes to negotiate with third parties and use their school’s logo in an endorsement agreement. Currently, Connecticut is one of only two states which prohibit student-athletes from using their schools’ logo or watermark as part of an endorsement contract. UConn testified in support of the legislation and argued the change would align Connecticut with other states and help them recruit students. The use of any logo or watermark would still need to be approved by the school or college.

“This bipartisan legislation builds on our recently enacted name, image and likeness bill passed last year,” said Senator Slap. “Student-athletes deserve to benefit from their talents and achievements. Passing this legislation helps them do that, while also helping our local schools and universities compete with those in other states.”

Senate Bill 20, “An Act Concerning The Name, Image and Likeness of Student Athletes,” ends Connecticut’s ban on student-athletes using a higher education institution’s institutional marks – for instance, the University of Connecticut’s phrases like “UConn” and “UConn Huskies” and Jonathan the Husky mascot – in their endorsement contracts or employment. Students will still need to negotiate with their school on the use of those marks.

Upon passage, it will be up to each school to enact a policy on use of their logo as part of any student-athlete endorsement deal.

In 2021, Sen. Slap led the Senate’s passage of legislation allowing student-athletes in colleges and universities to earn compensation through endorsement or employment contracts unrelated to their athletic programs, as well as obtain legal or professional representation from attorneys or sports agents, as long as they comply with their policies on such activities. This ended a long-held practice in college athletics where student-athletes would not be able to benefit financially from their work in athletic programs – even as college athletic events and leagues, such as the annual March Madness basketball tournament, drive billions of dollars of revenue annually. This legislation goes further in ensuring student-athletes can be identified in such endorsements with the images, phrases and information relevant to their athletic careers.

In testimony in front of the Higher Education Committee, UConn executive associate athletic director Neal Eskin gave support to the legislation, saying it would enhance opportunities for student-athletes – and for colleges and universities as well, in that endorsements with references to colleges and universities “may heighten institutional exposure and awareness.” Additionally, he noted, Connecticut’s status currently preventing such usage would allow Connecticut to better compete with schools in other states, as students choosing to enroll would have the same opportunities as those allowing use of institutional marks.

The bill now heads to the House for a vote.