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(LISTEN): Missouri lawmaker and former Mizzou captain says bipartisan NIL law goes beyond Mizzou

(LISTEN): Missouri lawmaker and former Mizzou captain says bipartisan NIL law goes beyond Mizzou

Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz thanks Governor Mike Parson for signing the bipartisan NIL bill during a bill-signing ceremony at Columbia’s Memorial Stadium (August 15, 2023 photo courtesy of Mizzou Athletics senior associate athletic director Ryan Koslen)

A former Mizzou football captain who helped lead the successful passage of bipartisan NIL legislation describes the bill as very important to him.

NIL stands for name, image and likeness. State Rep. Kurtis Gregory (R-Marshall) tells 939 the Eagle that the bill is an amazing opportunity for student-athletes in Missouri, and not just at Mizzou.

“I’m just so happy with my friends down there (Jefferson City), my fellow legislators that we were able to come together and do our part to give all of the schools in the state what they need to compete in their respective levels. It’s not just University of Missouri, that gets lost in the translation. And it’s not just football, it’s not just men’s basketball. You know it’s St. Louis University, it’s Missouri State (in Springfield), it’s Southeast Missouri State (in Cape Girardeau),” Gregory says.

State Rep. Kurtis Gregory (R-Marshall) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on February 28, 2023 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communicatons)

Gregory spoke at the recent bill-signing ceremony at Columbia’s Faurot Field, where Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz praised Gregory for the bill’s passage. Representative Gregory tells 939 the Eagle that this will help Mizzou athletes in numerous sports.

“I think that gets lost in the translation, it’s not just the football and basketball it’s the women’s volleyball and golf team. You know they can go out and be able to pick up on this where they’re not getting the full scholarships. And this means a lot knowing that this could help get some people’s school paid for,” says Gregory.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, left, and Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz pose after the governor signed bipartisan NIL legislation into law at Faurot Field in Columbia (August 15, 2023 photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Gregory, who played for then-Coach Gary Pinkel at Mizzou from 2005-2009, says he was fortunate that his parents, who live in west-central Missouri’s Blackburn, were able to attend all of his games. Gregory says that, for some of his teammates, the only game their parents were able to attend was senior day.

“I had teammates where, you know, that regardless they had a situation where the scholarship stipend check that they were getting, it meant more to them to send that money back home and help take care of their family than it did to find an apartment. They were sleeping on couches in spare bedrooms and stuff with other teammates,” says Gregory.

UM System President Dr. Mun Choi also spoke at the recent ceremony in the Walsworth Family Columns club. President Choi predicts this bill will help Mizzou win championships.

“It shows how much people are clamoring in Missouri for that championship to happen on our campus. And we have all of the elements that I talked about: outstanding coach, great visionary AD and talented student-athletes. And now we’re going to get even more of them to stay in Missouri. So we’re very excited,” President Choi told 939 the Eagle that afternoon.