- Reaction score
Seems Alabama is out in front. Havent seen this from any other schools. See discussion of rules and potential earnings below.
What does name, image and likeness mean? What is the right of publicity?
Name, image and likeness (or NIL) are the three elements that make up “right of publicity”, a legal concept used to prevent or allow the use of an individual to promote a product or service. For example, if an athlete’s photograph is taken while wearing an athletic brand, and that brand uses the photo to promote their products without the athlete’s consent, that athlete could claim the brand is in violation of the right of publicity.
The right of publicity is generally used to protect against the misuse of an individual’s name, image and likeness for commercial promotion. However, the NCAA has been scrutinized for years, as critics say the NCAA takes advantage of student-athletes by using their name, image and likeness for profit, while not allowing the athletes to cash in, as well.
With the NCAA changing the existing NIL rules to begin allowing athletes the right to profit from the use of their own name, image and likeness, here are a few examples of what student-athletes could now be paid for:
Keep reading for more detailed examples of how student-athletes may profit from the upcoming NIL rules changes.
- Their autograph
- Developing and/or modeling athletic and non-athletic clothing apparel
- Promoting products and services
- Making personal appearances
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How can I earn money from my NIL?
Below are some examples of how student-athletes could make money from their NIL
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- Lessons, camps and clinics
- Example: An LSU football player can host a summer camp for youth football athletes, in which he receives some or all of the profits. But when using his name and image to promote the camp, the athlete cannot reference LSU or wear any LSU gear.
- Product endorsements:
- Example: A collegiate swimmer can be compensated for a partnership with Speedo to promote the latest competition suit, as long as the promotion does not mention the name of the swimmer’s college/university.
- Autographs. These sessions cannot occur during an institution event or competition and no school’s trademarked logos or apparel is used during the sale of the material.
- Example: A local organization can hire and pay a college baseball player to sign autographs during a youth baseball event. At the event, the athlete is not permitted to wear his college/university’s apparel.
- Example: A college soccer team can create a crowdfunding page to help a teammate financially whose family is experiencing a personal hardship or to raise funds for a charity.
How much money will student-athletes be able to earn?
With college athletes soon able to profit from their NIL, you might be wondering exactly how much these athletes can earn once the NCAA adjusts their current rules and regulations. While earning potential varies from athlete to athlete, ESPN recently broke down the earning potential for four different categories of college athletes to give an idea of how much money is up for grabs.
The four athlete categories ESPN identified are All-American and Olympic athletes, as well as athletes competing for revenue and non-revenue driving sports. Looking at the various types of earning scenarios, ESPN estimated a profit range for each athlete category. Unsurprisingly, it’s estimated that All-American athletes have the highest earning potential in every category, with as much as $1M for social media promotion, $20k per camp/lesson, $500k for commercial appearances and $500k for apparel deals.
It’s important to remember, very few college athletes fall under the All-American category. Instead, the vast majority of student-athletes compete on a non-revenue sports team, which is the category with the lowest estimated earning potential. But this doesn’t mean non-revenue athletes won’t have any opportunities to take advantage of the new NIL rules. For these athletes, the largest earning potential lies in camps/lessons. ESPN estimates that athletes could make a couple hundred dollars per day working at camps and between $35 and $50 per hour for individual or small-group lessons. While the NCAA does currently allow athletes to be paid to work at camps, the proposed NIL rules would allow them to promote their presence at a camp using their school name on promotional materials.
While the above provides an estimation of how much money student-athletes could potentially earn, we can look at college cheerleading for an idea of how much student-athletes make when they are not regulated by NCAA rules. College cheerleaders are not governed by the NCAA, meaning they have long been able to participate in endorsement deals. Over the years, college cheerleaders have earned money selling autographs, making commercial appearances and promoting products on social media, all of which are ways NCAA athletes may soon be able to earn money. A recent New York Times article took a deeper dive into the various endorsement deals college cheerleaders profit from each year and how these opportunities have impacted their careers.
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The NCAA listed the following protective measures to monitor and regulate any potential student-athlete NIL compensation:
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- NIL compensation cannot be used as a form of payment for athletic participation. In other words, NIL opportunities should not be used as a recruiting tactic.
- Schools and conferences cannot play a role in their student-athletes’ NIL activities.
- Student-athletes cannot profit from use of their NIL in situations where they have no legal right to demand such compensation (i.e. when the athlete’s school trademarked logos are used).
- The role of third parties in student-athlete NIL activities is regulated.
- NIL rules cannot interfere with NCAA members’ efforts in the areas of diversity, inclusion or gender equity.
Will the NIL rules be different for each NCAA Division level?
Yes, each division level has been asked to create their own NIL compensation plan using the guidelines and recommendations the NCAA Board of Governors approved. Because all three NCAA divisions have different rules in terms of recruiting, scholarships, etc., each division level will implement their own NIL rules changes.
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How will these rules apply to recruits?
As a result of changes to NIL rules, it’s possible that the NCAA will enforce stricter recruiting rules to prevent college coaches from leveraging NIL compensation to influence recruits. While we do not know exactly what this looks like, the NCAA has made it clear they’re dedicated to maintaining a differentiation between college athletes and professional athletes.
Additionally, the NCAA has called on Congress to take steps that would allow the association to navigate the potential challenges that come with modernizing the NIL rules.
“The evolving legal and legislative landscape around these issues not only could undermine college sports as a part of higher education but also significantly limit the NCAA’s ability to meet the needs of college athletes moving forward,” Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State said. “We must continue to engage with Congress in order to secure the appropriate legal and legislative framework to modernize our rules around name, image and likeness. We will do so in a way that underscores the Association’s mission to oversee and protect college athletics and college athletes on a national scale.”