Before you read any further, it’s important to note that we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice. This is merely an explanation and collection of materials to help you learn more about the NCAA NIL rules and how they impact sports. Make sure to always speak with your compliance officer or a legal advisor before making any action or signing any documents pertaining to NIL.
NCAA NIL Rules Guide: The Do’s & Don’ts of NIL
This is how the NCAA defines the new rules regarding NIL, the acronym for name, image, and likeness:
“NCAA college athletes now have the opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness. All three divisions have adopted a uniform, interim policy suspending NCAA name, image and likeness rules for all incoming and current student-athletes in all sports.
The policy provides the following guidance to member schools, college athletes and their families:
- Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities may be a resource for state law questions.
- Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
- College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in NIL activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
- State law and schools/conferences may impose reporting requirements.”
What does all this mean in layman’s terms? That depending on the state you live in, you may be allowed to profit from your name, image, and likeness.
With that in mind, let’s go over some do’s and don’ts for a college athlete aiming to make some money from NIL. Remember, these are general guidelines; you are solely responsible for complying with NIL rules at your institution and in your state.
- Consider how you can profit off of your NIL – think about the companies and markets that would be most open to you based on your sport, level, location, etc.
- Remember that there are certain categories of goods that you cannot profit off of (alcohol, gambling, etc.)
- Obtain legal advice before making any type of NIL agreement
- Disclose any NIL activity to your school’s compliance officer
- You cannot receive any performance-based incentives
- Your NIL agreement cannot incentivize you to attend a certain school
- You cannot use your school logos (in almost all cases) to benefit your NIL
- NIL activity cannot include time spent during team-organized activities
- Don’t take the first deal that is offered to you – you are free to negotiate as appropriate, and you’re also free to seek multiple opportunities
Signing an NIL deal can seem overwhelming and exciting, but behind every major deal we see on social media is a team of professionals making sure that the athlete is protecting their eligibility and maximizing their NIL.
If you’re an NCAA athlete right now, you’re at the beginning of something unique that’s never happened before. Understand the NCAA NIL rules, and go capitalize on your hard work.