MO State HS Sports
(LISTEN): UM System President says NIL bill is crucial to Mizzou winning championships

(LISTEN): UM System President says NIL bill is crucial to Mizzou winning championships

Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz speaks at the bipartisan NIL bill-signing ceremony at Columbia’s Memorial Stadium on August 15, 2023 (photo courtesy of Mizzou Athletics senior associate athletic director Ryan Koslen)

The UM System president and Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz are praising the passage of bipartisan name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation.

They and numerous other Mizzou coaches and student-athletes joined Governor Mike Parson at Tuesday’s bill-signing ceremony at Faurot Field in Columbia. The governor is ecstatic.

“Being able to really be the model for America right here at MU. So it’s a pretty special day to do that for our colleges and universities, but more importantly for the students,” Governor Parson says.

The governor was also joined by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, who praises the recruiting that football coach Eli Drinkwitz has done. Mizzou men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates and women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton were also in attendance.

Lt. Governor Kehoe describes the bipartisan NIL bill as cutting-edge.  Mr. Kehoe tells 939 the Eagle that Missouri is a model for the nation.

“It makes the University of Missouri not only the flagship university for our state but the example for the rest of the nation with the language that (State) Representative Kurtis Gregory (of Marshall) put forward and (State) Senator Karla Eslinger (of Wasola). I mean we have the best of the best now for the university. Super excited for the coaches and most excited for the student-athletes,” says Kehoe.

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Kurtis Gregory (R-Marshall), a former Mizzou football captain.  Representative Gregory tells 939 the Eagle that the bill is an amazing opportunity for student-athletes in Missouri and that the NIL bill is “one of if not the best in the country.”

Coach Drinkwitz and UM System President Dr. Mun Choi also spoke at the 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 says.

The NIL provision is included in House Bill 417, which is sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson (R-Bonne Terre). It’s a 29-page workforce development bill that also includes provisions on adult high schools, apprenticeships and nursing schools.