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Tyra, Barnhart discuss name, image and likeness

UK, UofL tip off at Rupp Arena on Friday. (Source: Kent Taylor/WAVE 3 News)
UK, UofL tip off at Rupp Arena on Friday. (Source: Kent Taylor/WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Name, image and likeness, the three words that college athletes hope to turn into money starting next week.

An executive order from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear brought the state of Kentucky in line with many others, and now the schools are speaking out about their plans to educate student-athletes and to help them profit.

“We are excited for them to move forward. We’ve been a proponent, I’ve been outspoken and I think it’s the right path to go down. I think with guard rails,” UofL vice president of athletics Vince Tyra said.

“We’re still awaiting NCAA governance next week,” UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said. “They will probably come through with some new language in some way, shape or form, as to what that is, this is a bridge that gets us to January where we can put the legislation firmly in place through the state legislature in January and then the last piece, obviously, is the hope that at some point there will be federal legislation that ties all 50 states together and gives us the opportunity to all sing from one hymn book.”

Social media is expected to open new doors for athletes. Barnhart said the most popular current UK athlete on social media is track and field star Masai Russell, and it’s not close. Russell has over 150,000 followers on Instagram.

Tyra says there could be some big deals as early as next week.

“A little bit of rumors out there already about six figure deals in waiting,” Tyra said. “That we’ve heard of, so do I think that it’s possible that I pull into one of the sports complexes in my F150 and park next to somebody’s Mercedes, yeah.”

Along with social media and commercial opportunities, athletes could also profit from youth camps, appearances, and many other avenues.

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