Student athletes at LSU and other schools would be able to profit from their name and likeness under a bill that won final legislative approval Tuesday morning.

The Senate voted 35-0 to go along with minor amendments added in the House.

On Monday the House backed the bill 88-7.

The legislation is Senate Bill 60.

Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley, House sponsor of the measure, said during House debate Monday 15 states have enacted similar measure and 21 others are considering doing so.

Backers said the new rules are needed because, without action, state colleges and universities would suffer in recruiting and other areas.

"If Louisiana is left behind we will be at a competitive disadvantage," Stefanski told the House. "I believe college athletes should be able to profit from their name, image and likeness."

Most of the questions, as in earlier hearings, focused on whether LSU or other schools could face penalties from the NCAA by the state enacting such a law.

Stefanski noted that NCAA officials have not provided any guidance on how states should proceed.

"If they make a decision and we do not have legislation like this we are behind the eight ball," he said.

"It seems a pretty clear message to the NCAA that this is something we want," Stefanski said, a reference to the laws being enacted in multiple states.

Some lawmakers complained that the law would only benefit high-profile athletes at big-name schools.

"Will there be a disparity on the team on who is getting money and who is not getting money?" asked state Rep. Larry Frieman, R-Abita Springs.

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Said Stefanski, "We live in a free market society. We live in a capitalist society. I think the market is going to dictate a lot of this."

Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, noted that advertisers gravitate to high-profile athletes in professional sports. "That is typically who the advertisers go to, not necessarily everybody on the team," Marcelle said.

The issue could also spark federal legislation amid calls for student athletes to benefit from more than their college scholarships.

The bill would put individual schools in charge of how their student athletes benefit from the new rules.

Whether the athlete could use the school's logos, colors and symbols would be decided by school officials.

Financial arrangements would between the student athlete and a third party.

Schools could block promotional arrangements for the athletes if educators concluded they were in conflict with the values of the institution.

The bill was backed by LSU leaders, and former gymnastics coach D-D Breaux watched the House debate with Sen. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, chief sponsor of the legislation.

Backers also noted the bill was backed by LSU's new women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, a recent inductee into the basketball Hall of Fame.

Connick planned to push the measure  last year but delayed plans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, who played college basketball at Southeastern Louisiana University and once played against LSU legend Pete Maravich, praised the measure.

Bagley said athletes in sports other than football and basketball will benefit.

"I think this is a huge thing," Bagley said.

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