New NCAA Rules Regarding Name, Image, and Likeness Take Effect


Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Athletes are now eligible for endorsement deals.

Weston Thomas, Staff Writer

   For half a century collegiate athletes have captured the spirit of competition while earning millions of dollars for their colleges and universities, but haven’t profited for their efforts during contests or for the commercial use of their image. This practice is about to change as a recent Supreme Court ruling determined that the NCAA has been violating antitrust laws all along.  

   Some students already earn thousands from social media platforms such as TikTok or Instagram, as influencers.  Under new NCAA guidelines, which took effect on July 1st, 2021, NIL (Name, image, and likeness) rules will radically change, and allow student athletes to be paid by outside endorsements.  These previous rules were justified under grounds of “amateurism” which is the idea that collegiate athletes do not compete professionally, and therefore should not be compensated, even by outside sources.  Whereas in the past, athletes would be penalized for earning under NIL grounds, they can now be fully compensated.  This opens up the market to possibilities of brand deals, additional sponsorships, and even things like video games.  It should be noted however, that 19 states have passed laws specifically affecting NIL, while five states are set to enact laws pertaining to this issue. California became the first state to allow players to profit from NIL deals, when Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law in 2019, shortly after his election.

   Due to the new guidelines regarding NIL, many companies have launched efforts to sponsor and endorse collegiate athletes.  One of these efforts is Barstool Sports, which had originally seen pushback from universities regarding guidelines, but has now been able to endorse athletes participating in a wide variety of sports. In March of 2021 EA Sports announced the return of their NCAA football video games.  New NIL rules may even allow an expansion of the franchise by allowing the use of actual player names, a feature that was impossible beforehand.  More announcements regarding endorsements are expected.