FRANKFORT, Ky. — College athletes in Kentucky can receive compensation for the use of their names, images and likenesses, according to an executive order signed Thursday by Gov. Andy Beshear.
“Today’s step was done in cooperation with all of our public universities as well as leadership of both parties,” Beshear said. “This action ensures we are not at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting, and also that our student athletes have the same rights and opportunities as those in other states. For any individual athlete, their name, image and likeness are their own and no one else’s.”
Beshear is the first governor to allow compensation for name, image and likeness by executive order.
Multiple politicians and university officials applauded the order, including University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, University of Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield, Murray State University president Bob Jackson, Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne and Kentucky Senate minority leader Morgan McGarvey, among others.
"We are appreciative of that support as it is a bridge until such time as state and/or federal laws are enacted," Barnhart said in a news release. "The landscape of college sports is now in the midst of dramatic and historic change — perhaps the biggest set of shifts and changes since scholarships were first awarded decades ago."
Nineteen states have passed legislation to allow such compensation for student-athletes. The NCAA Board of Governors preliminarily approved changes to their eligibility rules that would allow such compensation, and Congress has held hearings on creating a national standard for compensation.
Officials have directed Kentucky colleges and universities to provide education and other resources to assist students with financial literacy, time management and social media and brand management, according to a news release from Beshear's office.