Texas lawmakers approve college athlete compensation bill

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers on Friday approved letting college athletes earn money with endorsements and sponsorship deals, pushing the state closer to joining others who have already opened the door to previously banned financial deals.

Friday’s Senate vote sends the bill to Gov. Greg Abbott to consider signing into law. Several states have already approved measures that allow athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness. The Texas version would take effect July 1.

Texas has five schools — Texas, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech in the Big 12, and Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference — in the so-called Power Five conferences. Supporters of the measure say those schools need the bill to compete for top-level recruits.

The Texas bill would require athletes to take financial literacy courses. Texas would also bar athletes from contracting with particular industries, including alcohol and tobacco products, casino gambling and sexually oriented businesses.

The state-level efforts come as Congress is considering federal measures, and the NCAA considers its own efforts to reform its bylaws to let athletes capitalize on their potential earning power.

The NCAA has warned that a patchwork of state laws would create confusion and competitive inequity. The NCAA Division I Council said it plans to act on name, image and likeness proposals at its June 22-23 meetings with the goal of having them in place by July 1.

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