Virginia Passes Law to Allow Schools to Directly PayAthletes for Their NIL

Written by Kassandra Ramsey, Esq.

· Name Image Likeness,NCAA,NIL,College Athlete NIL,Pay for Play

Last week, the Virginia state legislature took a step that is sure to change the future of college athletics. Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a bill into law that will allow colleges in Virginia to directly compensate their athletes for name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. Virginia is the first state to take an affirmative step to allow schools to directly compensate their athletes and to make it illegal for the NCAA to punish schools for doing so. Virginia’s new law came soon after the NCAA announced changes to its guidance regarding schools and their role as it relates to NIL. Last week, the Division I council adopted a proposal to allow schools assist their athletes with NIL opportunities.

Per the guidance, schools will be allowed to facilitate deals between their athletes and third parties. However, the NCAA made clear that schools are not allowed to compensate their athletes for use of their NIL. Virginia’s new law is a direct contradiction to that assertion as it states that no athletic association shall “prevent an institution from compensating a student-athlete for the use of his name, image, or likeness”. The law is set to take affect July 1, 2024. It is likely that Virginia will cause a domino effect with other states following suit much like they did when California enacted the first NIL law. It is no doubt that college athletics is in an ever-evolving state of change.

College and high school athletes have been granted the right to profit from their name, image, and likeness! Yayyyyyy!!! College and high school athletes can now enter NIL Deals. This is an exciting opportunity for college and high school athletes. However, there are certain topics that college and high school athletes and their parents need to know before entering any NIL Deal. Download by free NIL Contract Checklist for 5 contract terms to know! For more on college athletes' name, image, and likeness rights follow me on Twitter @esquire_coach and on Instagram and TikTok @the_esquirecoach. To receive updates from The Esquire Coach Blog directly to your email please subscribe below.