STORRS, Conn. — UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley is hopeful legislation passed this week in Connecticut that will allow college athletes to profit from the use of their names, images and likenesses will keep more players in school.
Hurley on Friday thanked the Connecticut General Assembly for passing the so-called NIL legislation Tuesday, which will make it possible for college players to be paid for such things as endorsements, social media content, sponsorship deals and personal appearances.
It is expected to receive the signature of Gov. Ned Lamont and would go into effect in September, superseding NCAA rules prohibiting that type of compensation for athletes.
At least 18 other states have adopted similar legislation, which comes as the NCAA and Congress both consider adopting a national standard allowing Division I athletes to make money in this way.
Hurley said in Connecticut, where UConn athletes garner much of the sports spotlight, the law could be an incentive to keep them from turning pro early.
“You’ve got really just the one major professional sports team with the WNBA, but beyond that you don’t have major professional sports here,” he said. “So are there are going to be more opportunities for NIL for college athletes at the University of Connecticut? Probably. Would they be more inclined to do an extra year? You know, maybe, possibly.”
Hurley said the legislation also will help colleges compete against the other options for young players, such as heading to a developmental professional league instead of going to school and getting an education.
“I think it’s a good thing to try and make it more appealing for the better players to want to go and play college basketball,” he said.
UConn is in the process of finding an outside agency that can help its athletes manage the NIL landscape, the school said.
“They’ve just got to make sure they manage it the right way; they’re not coming to me and saying they’ve got a photo shoot at 1:45 and we’ve got practice at 2 o’clock,” Hurley said. “They are just going to have to be very, very organized with that. But it’s a good thing.”