LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas lawmakers filed a new bill on Thursday, that would amend the Arkansas Student-Athlete Publicity Rights Act allowing those individuals to have the right to receive compensation. 

Representative Matthew Shephard is the lead sponsor on HB1649, this bill would allow student athletes, who have signed a national letter of intent or written agreement to enroll in a state college to have the right to enter into a contract and receive compensation for the commercial use of their publicity rights.

The bill also mentions state colleges, its supporting foundations, or its authorized entities to identify, create, facilitate, negotiate, and otherwise enable opportunities for a student-athlete to earn compensation for commercial use. 

Furthermore, in the bill, state colleges, its supporting foundations, or its authorized entities would also be required to compensate student-athletes for publicity too. 

The Publicity Rights include a student-athletes use of name, nicknames, trademarks, service marks, landmarks, trade dress, uniforms, logos, images, etc. 

Little Rock Central High School Junior, Annor Boateng is ranked number one for the top basketball players in the state on some sports websites. On Wednesday, he was also nominated for Gatorade Player of the year for Arkansas.

“Being able to accomplish it as a Junior is out of this world for me,” Boateng said.  

As the momentum around him builds, a lot of Arkansas Razorback fans hope Boateng stays in-state. 

“I got a few schools I’m looking at right now, but I can’t give any definite answer (on where I will sign),” Boateng stated. 

Although Boateng has yet to sign to any college, he said he was glad to learn of the house bill that was filed. 

“Having that compensation on the side will definitely help you throughout college and even now getting it early can help you build up that fortune and expand into different businesses,” Boateng said. 

Boateng started his basketball journey at a young age, picking up the love of the sport from his family. 

“I really picked it up because of (my brother) because he was someone I looked up to,” Boateng explained.  

Boateng said he believes this bill could be good for Arkansas and Fort Smith Southside High School Senior Kage Castling who signed his letter of intent to play for Ottawa University in Kansas said he was also happy to learn about the act. 

“Actually, that sounds really good,” Castling said. 

Castling also said he started to play football when he was just in kindergarten and is thankful for the opportunity to continue the sport he has a passion for. 

“Honestly it feels really good, I used to play on a travel football team in third grade and out of all of those guys I’m the first guy to sign to play football so far,” Castling stated. 

Castling said he is excited to begin his journey to collegiate football. 

Boateng also said he is grateful for the opportunities in the future. 

“I’m just super glad to be having this opportunity right now,” Boateng said.