Legislators hope new bill helps keep local athletes in Missouri

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Missouri legislators are hoping a new bill regarding name, image and likeness deals will help keep local athletes in the Show Me State.

“They have a couple of banners up still,” said Jamar Mozee. “They used to have plaques and things.”

Mozee said that while recalling when he was tearing up the football field back in the late 90s for Blue Springs High School. After being heavily recruited, he went on to play for the Oklahoma Sooners.

These days, he’s still on the gridiron as a head coach for the Lee’s Summit North High School Broncos. There, his players are getting heavily recruited and being looked at for NIL (name, image and likeness) deals.

“It’s so new, people speculate like, ‘Is it real? Is it not real? Well, it’s definitely real,” Mozee said.

Missouri lawmakers want it to be even more real for local players.

The house and senate passed a bill that will allow Missouri head coaches like Eli Drinkwitz and Dennis Gates to be involved in finding and negotiating NIL deals for players.

Also, Missouri high school athletes would be allowed to negotiate and take NIL deals as soon as they’ve signed a national letter of intent with a public institution in the state. That gives Missouri one of the loosest NIL laws in the nation.

“You got to watch yourself,” Mozee said. “You can’t get jealous now. But, would I like to be playing right now? Absolutely.”

Mozee has a list of players who will be taking advantage of the deals. One of those is his own son and Lee’s Summit North wide receiver Isiah Mozee.

He believes NILs and this bill go a long way in helping many local athletes stay in Missouri.

“Let’s say a kid is not an early graduate or early enrollee and they are going to finish through May. Well, they will be getting paid from January to May when they are out of school,” Mozee explained. “That’s a big deal.”

With these big deals on the rise, Coach Mozee said it is important for players to seek help.

“When people start talking numbers and stuff like that, don’t get nervous. Go seek some help and get some representation,” he advised. “There are people out there that can help you.”

The bill now awaits Governor Mike Parson’s signature. If signed, the bill will go into effect this upcoming season.