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New Laws Mean Big Money for NCAA Athletes

College athletes now have the ability to profit off of their name, image and likeness after the NCAA passed an interim policy on Thursday, July 1st. While federal legislation is in the process of being passed, the interim policy allows student athletes to engage in deals to make money from their NIL.

Athletes still have to abide by NIL laws on a state-to-state basis, but can engage in in sponsorships and endorsement deals without violating NCAA rules.

The new NCAA policy means that a variety of opportunities for college athletes to make money have surfaced. University of Wisconsin Quarterback Graham Mertz became the first college athlete to trademark his own logo, but other college football players such as Spencer Rattler, D’Eriq King and Kendall Milton have also trademarked their own logos since the interim policy was passed.

College football players have signed endorsement deals with companies as well. Auburn’s Quarterback Bo Nix recently signed a deal with Milo’s Sweet Tea. And a University of Miami booster offered all 90 scholarship football players $500/month to promote American Top Team MMA training. Each player can earn up to $6,000/year by promoting the gym, and the entire deal is worth more than $500,000.

Cameo, the popular website where you pay for personalized videos from celebrities and stars, is another avenue that college athletes are taking in order to profit from their name, image and likeness.

According to the interim policy athletes should report NIL activities to their universities. Schools and conferences “may choose to adopt their own policies” when it comes to NIL.

Certain schools have already taken a stance on what constitutes appropriate NIL activities. BYU issued a press release that states none of its players can promote alcohol, gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco or coffee.

NIL profits don’t stop at college football stars however. LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, who has 1.1 million Instagram followers, is expected to earn more compensation than any other NCAA athlete according to some experts in the industry. University of Connecticut basketball phenom Paige Bueckers also has 1.2 million followers across TikTok and Instagram and is expected to profit off of her sizeable fanbase.

More than 25 states in the US have already implemented NIL laws, but some states are still moving through the legislation process. Massachusetts, New York, Missouri and Rhode Island all plan to pass NIL laws for college athletes throughout 2021 and 2022.

Although the new NIL laws provide amazing new opportunities for NCAA athletes, there are still rules and regulations that all athletes must follow. A “pay for play” model is still prohibited per NCAA rules. This means that players cannot be financially compensated/incentivized to sign with a certain team or reach an athletic milestone (reaching 10 touchdowns, averaging 15 points per game, etc.)

Name, image, likeness has been a hot debate in college athletics for decades, but progress is finally being made. Some fans and experts think NIL will ruin NCAA sports, others think it will light a fire underneath athletes to prove themselves as the most marketable player on their team, in their division or in their sport.

Leave a comment down below and let us know what you think about the new NIL regulations!

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