In October, the NCAA revealed a portion of the college athlete name, image, and likeness (NIL) legislation the organization intends to adopt. The NCAA has been forced to change its rules governing college athletes' ability to profit from their NIL due to the growing sentiment that college athletes should be allowed to capitalize on the commercial use of their name, image, and likeness. Specifically, five states have enacted laws to allow college athletes to profit from the commercial use of their name, image, and likeness. Those five states are California, New Jersey, Nebraska, Florida, and Colorado.
Similarly, four bills addressing college athletes' NIL rights have been introduced to Congress. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has amended its rules to allow college athletes competing for schools in their membership to profit from their NIL. Accordingly, the NCAA has been forced to address the college athletes' name, image, and likeness issue and make changes to their rules.
What Changes do the NCAA Plan to Enact?
According to a document that was revealed last month, the NCAA plans to make a number of changes. One change that the NCAA plans to make is to allow college athletes to promote private lessons, business activities, and run their own camps and clinics as long as the athletes do not use any school insignia in their promotions. The NCAA intends to allow college athletes to profit from endorsing products through commercials and other ventures as long as the athletes do not use any school insignia. However, college athletes can generally mention that they are in fact a college athlete.
While college athletes will be allowed to endorse some products, there are some restrictions. For example, college athletes will be prohibited from endorsing products related to sports wagering and banned substances. Furthermore, schools will be allowed to prohibit college athletes from entering sponsorship agreements that conflict with a team contract or that conflict with the schools "values." Additionally, the NCAA plans to allow college athletes to be compensated for autograph sessions, as long as the sessions do not take place during official team events or bear the insignia of their respective school.
Moreover, the NCAA intends to allow college athletes to solicit funds for non-profit charities, catastrophic events, family hardships, and educational experiences through a crowdfunding platform, such as GoFundMe. Under the NCAA's proposed changes, college athletes will be able to sign with agents for three specific reasons. Those reasons are to seek advice for NIL ventures, to seek assistance in contract negotiations, and to seek assistance with NIL marketing.
Furthermore, any college athlete that enters into a NIL compensation contract will be required to disclose the contract to a third party administrator that has yet to be named. Boosters will also be allowed to engage college athletes in NIL as long no other benefits or improper inducements are provided. Lastly, college recruits will be given the opportunity to enter name, image, and likeness activities. However, they must report and disclose all deals prior to signing with a school.
These Changes are Not Official Yet, but are Expected Soon
While the NCAA has not officially adopted these changes, the organization is expected to do so at the start of next year. It is possible that the NCAA will continue to make modifications to their new impending NIL legislation. However, there is one thing that is for certain and that is that the NCAA has been forced to make some changes in this ever-evolving landscape of college athletes' rights.