Missouri’s recruiting of homegrown star athletes is on tap to get a big nudge. Gov. Mike Parson has signed a bill into law that will allow them to earn endorsement money as soon as they sign on the dotted line to play in-state for a college or university.

Rep. Kurtis Gregory, R-Marshall, led the effort to update Missouri’s NIL, or name, image, and likeness law.

“What we’ve done this year was really push the envelope. I use the moniker a few times that we’re not only pushing the envelope, we’ve licked it, shut it, and put a stamp on it, and dropped in the mailbox,” Gregory told Missourinet. “I wish we had it when I played. I probably wouldn’t have been the highest earner but, you know, maybe it would have been an F150 pickup from one of the local Ford dealerships or IHOP, you know, Pancake House or the local steakhouse up in Colombia.”

The legislation also lets coaches and school employees negotiate endorsement deals for college athletes.

“I really view like once you sign your National Letter of Intent, for all purposes, you’re part of that college team at that point and I just wanted to make sure that we got that done especially to give us a recruiting advantage here in state,” he said.

Another piece of the plan requires two financial literacy courses per calendar year for athletes.

The item is included in legislation that aims to help build and retain a skilled workforce in Missouri. The plan would reimburse employers who help their workers earn short-term certificates or credentials for high-need jobs. Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson, R-Desloge, is the sponsor of House Bill 417.

The new law is scheduled to begin in August.

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