Bill Allows Collegiate Athletes to Receive Compensation

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


December 30, 2020



Governor Whitmer Signs Bills Allowing Collegiate Athletes tReceive Compensation for the First Time In Michigan History 


LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation today allowing student athletes to use their own name, image, likeness, and reputation for financial compensation. This marks the first time in Michigan history that collegiate athletes will have the opportunity to financially benefit from the countless hours they commit to their sport while attending school.


“For years we have all enjoyed the incredible talent of young athletes across the state. This legislation will change the lives of young men and women for years to come,” said Governor Whitmer. “As one of the first states in the nation to pass this historic legislation, I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation today on behalf of our current and future student athletes. I am hopeful that the NCAA will set a national standard so that all players across the country are afforded the same opportunities.  As always stay safe and go green!”


“It’s high time that collegiate players are respected and compensated for the talents that they’ve spent their entire lives trying to perfect,” said Joique Bell, former running back with the Detroit Lions and Wayne State University. “I’ve always supported the efforts to protect the best interests of athletes, especially those with tremendous abilities who play at all levels of the NCAA. Working two jobs, going to school full time, playing football and raising my son is a lot for any person, especially financially. My story is just one of many for collegiate student athletes. We need to continually find ways to help student athletes get ahead and build their brands early, while also protecting the players and the integrity of the sport.”


“At its core, this legislation is to ensure student-athletes in Michigan are treated fairly and they are able to have fulfilling college experience. I am proud of the opportunity to work on getting this legislation across the finish line,” said Representative Joe Tate.


House Bill 5217 prohibits post-secondary educational institutions from enforcing rules that prohibit student athletes from profiting from promotional deals. Students may earn compensation for their name, image, or likeness, and could not be prevented from playing intercollegiate sports or receiving scholarships because of doing so. The bill was sponsored by Representative Brandt Iden (R-Kalamazoo).


House Bill 5218 repeals a section of the Penal Code which prohibits athletic agents from inducing students into contracts before their eligibility for college athletics expires. The bill also repeals a section of the Revised Judicature Act which creates civil liability for interfering with the “prospective advantage” given by an institution of higher education by virtue of its relationship with the student athlete, by promising an improper gift or service to the athlete, if that gift results in injury to the school. The bill was sponsored by Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit).


The bills allow players from any sport in all divisions to use agents to earn money from their own image, name, or likeness. However, students cannot enter into an apparel contract that conflicts with the apparel contracts of their school, and must disclose contracts to their school prior to signing. The bills do not establish the right for students to use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property, and logos of schools, associations, or conferences.


Michigan is among one of the first states to pass and sign legislation surrounding the compensation of student athletes. Governor Whitmer has called on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to set a national standard so that all states can follow in Michigan’s footsteps and create a consistent framework for student athletes across the country.


HB 5217 and 5218 will take effect on December 31, 2022, except for a reporting requirement in Section 9 which has been given immediate effect.


What Gives???

What Gives???

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


What Gives???

Written Wednesday December 23rd at 1:15 PM

So Fall Sports are postponed again for the third time???

Winter Sports haven’t even started yet in the State

What gives???

Someone has clearly dropped the ball.

The MHSAA announced to teams to stop practicing on Tuesday because of the testing protocols aren’t ready yet from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Players, Coaches, Fans, Athletic Directors are absolutely fed up and I don’t blame them. All the false hope just for these student-athletes to return to play. It’s like a yo-yo.

Probably villain number one has to be MDHHS Director Robert Gordon.

Gordon was the person that suggested to MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl that a return to play was possible if student-athletes do an antigen test program. I question the legality of this program because most parents don’t like or want to see their student-athletes get tested three times a week. Also by law the government cannot forcefully give something the kid doesn’t want without the parent’s consent.

Gordon and Governor Gretchen Whitmer has put so many hurdles on these student-athletes just to let them play and finish their seasons.

On November 18th Whitmer and Gordon announced through an epidemic order that new restrictions were given because of rising coronavirus cases caused “the pause.” The move included pausing school sports. Gordon said that the reason was because of the mixing of different households was why they were included in the order.

Although there have been stats that teammates are like families and playing inside a bubble could work. It was very successful in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the NBA restart even though they went through vigorous testing.Travel is not really an issue when it comes to high school sports.

It was in September after a Let Them Play protest in Lansing, Whitmer gave the go ahead for schools to start sports under strict safety guidelines. The move gave student-athletes a chance to play much to the disagreement of MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Joneiah Khaldun.

I did talk to my co-host Ian Locke and he is right there were the majority of kids that got to play a fall season which I get and very thankful for but there are others that haven’t finished what they started.

Look at what happened in winter in 2020 and spring sports didn’t even have a season.

Uyl said that spring season will get a guaranteed season in 2021. Uyl also said that there will be three seasons but Whitmer and Gordon have been making things very difficult for Uyl to keep his promise.

Here is a suggestion for Uyl that he and the MHSAA Representative Council need to consider. They could move Winter Sports to start in February and end in early April with the postseason tournament. Also have Spring Sports start in late April and end on Independence Day weekend.

That is an option for the MHSAA.

There will be parents and fans who want to blame Uyl but clearly looking at all the data all the blame has to fall on Whitmer and especially Gordon. Nobody is denying that COVID-19 is real. It is real but there are sporting events that can be done safely.

I just read MIPrepZone’s Drew Ellis article and he’s exactly right on the money.

All I want to say to the student-athletes, athletic directors, and coaches. Just hang in there, stay strong. This is not your fault. Things are going to get better just got to believe and trust in each other. Do the things we can control.

This is clearly a failure in government.

The State of Michigan is truly failing our kids and are not seeing the bigger picture especially from an emotional and mental standpoint.

Drew Ellis Article.


Posted by Saginaw Bay at 10:16 AM

What Gives???

Most Winter Sports Paused but Fall Sports Can Proceed

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Friday, December 18, 2020


Most Winter Sports Paused for Now but Fall Sports Can Proceed.

Written Friday December 18th at 3:00 PM

Well most Winter Sports are still paused for now.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Medical Executive Joniah Khaldun, and Director Robert Gordon announced that indoor contact sports are still banned for now in a new order that is effective until January 15th.

That could change if trends improve which they have been lately.

Gordon mentioned that fall sports like football, volleyball, and swimming and diving can end their seasons. Excluding them from the order.

Football will be played on January 2nd with the semifinals on January 9th at home sites though it is possible for those games to held at neutral sites. The State Finals on January 15th and 16th at Ford Field.

Volleyball quarterfinals will start on January 5th while the State Semifinals and Finals will be played at the Kellogg Center in Battle Creek.

Girls Swimming and Diving will be held on January 15th and 16th at the three host sites.

There will be no spectators and all safety protocols will be in place.

The OAA currently has North Farmington, Oak Park, and West Bloomfield still playing in football while Clarkston is the only school left in volleyball. North Farmington heads to Traverse City Central, Oak Park goes to Livonia Churchill, while West Bloomfield hosts Romeo. Clarkston volleyball will play Grand Blanc at Lapeer in the State Quarterfinals.

The new order is not good for the indoor winter sports except for skiing which is outdoors. It’s possible they could go to the spring. It is possible that the MHSAA could extend the seasons past June.

The MHSAA Representative Council will meet again on December 22nd to address the rest of winter sports. The spring sports remain unchanged for now.

Gordon announced a new antigen testing program that can be implemented for fall sports. Wonder if it could be addressed for winter and spring sports???

“With respect to sports, outdoor and non-contact sports are reopening. We will also be offering a new pilot program for fall sports, including contact sports that use antigen tests in order to ensure safety as students complete high school fall championships. This is a very limited number of schools that had seasons interrupted and this will be a chance to do two things, it will let students complete a season that is, of course very important to them. And it will allow schools and the State of Michigan to work together to learn how these antigen tests to encourage safe reopening in January” said Gordon.

It will be very interesting to see what happens with winter sports. It will be something to keep an eye on.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

Here is the MHSAA’s Statement.

Here is the Tweet from State Champs from MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl

Posted by Saginaw Bay at 12:00 PM

Why Everyone Making the Football Playoffs is a Good Thing

Why Everyone Making the Football Playoffs is a Good Thing

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Monday, December 14, 2020


Why Everyone Making the Football Playoffs is a Good Thing.

Written Monday December 14th at 2:00 PM

Why everyone making the playoffs is a good thing.

In other sports everyone makes the playoffs. In football it was done this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Could this be the norm???

This pandemic playoff format where everyone makes the playoffs has been a success. This is something that the MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl and the MHSAA Representative Council need to seriously look at.

You had some great and intriguing matchups in the postseason that no one would had thought off like Lake Orion/Grand Blanc, West Bloomfield/Sterling Heights Stevenson, Stoney Creek/Chippewa Valley etc.

Oak Park would have not made the playoffs under the old format which is based on strength of schedule and playoff points. In 2019, you needed six wins to make the playoffs. The Knights went 0-6 this season but right now they would be still playing if not for this pause.

How it would work is that everyone plays eight games and expand the playoffs like this year. It would create very interesting storylines.

There are coaches and some fans that are against this model because it rewards bad teams and that everyone makes the postseason. On the flip side if you have played a brutal schedule and don’t have a winning record and you see a team that has an easier schedule make the playoffs then you’ll be up at arms.

OAA 2017 rings that bell.

As a former player and current blogger and podcaster I think this is an awesome format to look at in the future and it creates surprising matchups and teams like we have seen in this postseason.

The pandemic playoff format tells where several schools particularly in the OAA have to be in the conversation.

We know about West Bloomfield, Lake Orion, Clarkston, Oxford, Adams, Oak Park, Southfield Arts and Tech, Groves, Seaholm, North Farmington, Farmington, and Stoney Creek. They have been there and done that. They have won State titles or have had deep playoff runs but there are several schools that have been underachieving programs that could use this experience to reshape their brand.

For teams that were in the Blue this season, it pretty much tells the whole story.

Rochester was the division champ going unbeaten for the first time since 1991 but they were blown out by Adams. Avondale lost to Groves. Troy Athens was blown out by Southfield Arts and Tech. Those three schools lost to OAA schools that were either in the Red or in the White which of course is much tougher competition all in the first round. Ferndale lost to Detroit Renaissance which I’ll mention below about them because their problem seems to be out of league. Pontiac was blown out which I also mention below. Troy and Berkley both won their first round games over Bloomfield Hills and Royal Oak respectably but were blown out by West Bloomfield and Warren Mott in the district semifinals.

Ferndale is the perfect example of a program needing this pandemic playoff format. The Eagles have the smallest enrollment in the OAA but they have a Co-Op program with Ferndale University which puts them in Division Two for the postseason. My biggest issue with Ferndale is that the Eagles have proven they are a league contender in the Blue but it’s when they go out of the OAA and face bigger schools like Detroit Renaissance this is where they struggle. This is something that Coach Eric Royal needs to address this offseason, it’s not the in league but the out of league they need to address.

I was very happy for Pontiac and their student athletes. A football program that has had a very difficult nine years (5-72 since.) Let’s be fair the Phoenix are the only Division Three school in the OAA. For them to experience what it’s like in the postseason is a huge accomplishment. Pontiac had to go to Bay City and got blown out 64-0 by Bay City Central in the first round. The league seriously need to help Pontiac big time especially with what they have been going through maybe give them some open dates not have them go through that gauntlet. I wrote a separate column surrounding this issue.

Should teams be rewarded for the tough schedules they play sure but it’s up to those teams as mentioned in the Blue that need to step up and show results.

At the end of the day this pandemic format gave everyone a chance to play. Should the MHSAA and the Representative Council make this permanent it would be very interesting. It could create a Cinderella story and it gives teams a fresh start from the regular season and into the postseason.

Posted by Saginaw Bay at 10:50 AM

Why Everyone Making the Football Playoffs is a Good Thing

It’s time for the OAA to help Pontiac Football

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Monday, December 14, 2020


It’s time for the OAA to help Pontiac Football.

Written Monday December 14th at 2:00 PM

It’s time to help Pontiac Football out.

It has been a rough ride for the Phoenix and Athletic Director Lee Montgomery and Coach Charles White.

Pontiac has had to go through numerous coaching changes. Uncertainties regarding their program. State intervention, you name it.

The Phoenix are 5-72 since 2011. 2011 was the last time they made the playoffs. They are 3-20 combined against Avondale, Berkley, and Ferndale. If you include Royal Oak its 5-25.

Pontiac did make the playoffs this season as part of the pandemic postseason. They were in Division Three and played Bay City Central where they were blown out 64-0.

Should the league allow the Phoenix to go out of league and find more open dates???

It would help them with their confidence and develop their program.

Pontiac has had a ton of problems with a lot of things out of their control. Playing in the OAA has some advantages but every week they are playing a tough opponent and are getting blown out in each game.

That impacts player confidence.

I know it takes time to develop a program but if the league can help the Phoenix out by giving them open dates so they can find winnable games, it would go a long way to building their program back up so they can be at a better position where they can compete in the OAA.

This is not a knock on their players, staff, athletic department, and program. They are working really hard and getting better each day.

Help from the league would go a long way to help them move forward.

Posted by Saginaw Bay at 10:46 AM