Ohio became the 18th state Monday to allow college athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness after a GOP attempt to add a transgender sports ban to the bill forced the governor to issue an executive order.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, surrounded by university presidents and an ex-Ohio State University quarterback, signed an executive order that would bring Ohio up to speed with more than a dozen other states who now prevent universities or college athletic conferences from punishing athletes if they are compensated based on their sports performance.

“For Ohio to be competitive, we need to get this now,” DeWine said. “We need to let everyone know that Ohio is in the game. Ohio is going to stay in the game.”

About half of those states — including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas — will have their laws go into effect July 1. Ohio State University football coach Ryan Day lobbied heavily for the change, saying Ohio schools would be at a recruiting disadvantage without it.

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