Our mission is to support athletes in crafting their brand — maximizing the marketing opportunities of their name, image, and likeness.

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Have Questions?

What Is NIL?

“Name, Image, and Likeness” (NIL) generally refers to the NCAA bylaw that permits intercollegiate student-athletes enrolled at a university or college to earn compensation at market value for the use of the name, image or likeness. More specifically, NIL means anything that reasonably identifies or defines a student athlete with particularity (e.g., first and/or last name; nickname; signature; social media account; or symbol, name, or design; etc.).

What is the NCAA’s Policy on NIL?

Effective July 1, 2021, the NCAA has an interim policy on NIL. Pursuant to this interim policy:

• Student-athletes (including recruits) CAN engage in NIL Activities that are consistent with the laws of the state where the school is located;

• Student-athletes CAN use a professional services provider for NIL Activities;

• NIL CANNOT be used as a recruiting inducement (I.e., compensation for NIL Activities cannot be contingent on enrollment at a particular institution);

• NIL CANNOT be paid on a performance-related basis (I.e., pay-for-play); and

• All NIL Activities MUST be quid pro quo: there must be an exchange of goods for services for compensation related to one’s NIL

What are “NIL Activities”?

NIL Activities means any activity in which student-athletes are compensated in any way for the use of their name, image, likeness, or personal appearance. Common examples include camps/clinics, personal appearances, selling autographs, merchandise sales, and sponsored social media posts.

What is “Compensation”?

Compensation for NIL Activities CAN be anything of value, monetary or otherwise, including but not limited to cash, gifts, in-kind items of value, social media compensation, payments for licensing or use of publicity rights or other intellectual or intangible property, and any other form of payment or remuneration.  Compensation for NIL Activities CANNOT be tuition, room and/or board, books, fees, personal expenses, and/or any other financial aid, benefits, or awards that the institution provides to a student-athlete. It also CANNOT be federal Pell grants and other state and federal grants or scholarships unrelated to, and not awarded because of a student-athlete's participation in intercollegiate athletics or sports competition.

Are student-athletes required to disclose NIL Activities to their University?

Yes. You are required to disclose all participation in and Compensation earned from NIL Activities to your Univeristy within four (4) calendar days of entering into a contract for NIL Activities and/or earning Compensation from NIL Activities. These disclosures will include information about the NIL Activity, including Compensation earned as well as your use of a Professional Services Provider. To disclose an NIL Activity, please reach out to your Athletics Compliance office.

Will NIL Compensation impact my athletic scholarship?

No. Compensation earned from your NIL Activities cannot affect the amount, duration, or renewal of, or your eligibility for, any athletic scholarship. However, Compensation earned from your NIL Activities may be used for the calculation of income for determining eligibility for need-based financial aid and Pell grants.

Are there certain categories of goods and/or services that I cannot use in my NIL activities?

Yes. You are prohibited from entering into a contract with, or otherwise receiving Compensation from, any third party related to or associated with the development, production, promotion, distribution, wholesaling, or retailing of the following: tobacco products, including but not limited to any tobacco product, alternative nicotine product, electronic nicotine delivery system; alcohol products, beverage, or brand; adult entertainment products and/or services; gambling/sports wagering in any format (i.e., in person, online, etc.); prescription pharmaceuticals; NCAA banned substances; weapons (including but not limited to firearms and ammunition); and providers of higher education (other colleges and universities)

What is an NIL Marketplace?

An NIL marketplace is a 2-sided online platform. One one side of the platform are the “sellers” made up of student-athletes. On the other side of the marketplace are the brands or "buyers.”

The marketplace allows these entities to come together, meet, negotiate, and ultimately agree on a deal for the student-athlete to perform an NIL activity.

What is a Collective?

Collectives are third party for-profit or non-profit business entities created by a school’s alumni/boosters to guarantee financial opportunities for student-athletes. The NIL opportunities vary in how they will be executed, but are in essence to promote a brand or in support of non-profit.

At the one year anniversary of NIL, it was believed that there were about 120 Collectives. The number grows and contracts each month as new Collectives launch, while others that support the same athletic department merge. All (or nearly all) of the Power Five schools have a Collective - and some have more than one.

What about Taxes and NIL?

Income from NIL activities is taxable, so a lot of the discussion is about the importance of setting aside a portion of NIL earnings to pay taxes owed. While I think that’s important, I often remind anyone who will listen of another concern: NIL earnings may impact a student-athlete’s need-based school, state, or federal financial aid or the Pell Grant.

Student-Athletes who earn NIL income should get the advice of an accountant to manage those earnings and seek advice from experts on the potential impact on their financial aid application.

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