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NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness Update: Key Considerations for NIL Policies

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The new age of amateur sports is right around the corner with at least seven states that have Name Image Likeness (NIL) statutes or executive orders going into effect this Thursday, July 1, 2021, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas. Other states have NIL legislation poised to be signed into law (e.g. Oregon) and those with delayed effective dates under enacted legislation (e.g. California) may accelerate effectiveness to July 1, 2021 or shortly thereafter.

In addition, the NCAA plans to have its member institutions vote on its “Interim NIL Policy” on June 30 in order for such policy to go in to effect July 1, 2021. The Interim NIL Policy places the burden on individual institutions to establish, maintain, and distribute policies governing NIL activities. Such policies must comply with state law, where in effect, and in the event no such law is in effect, individual school policy alone controls. All NCAA institutions (D-1, D-2, and D-3) should have NIL policies in place on July 1, 2021 or as soon as reasonably possible whether or not your state has effective NIL laws. At a minimum, institutions should have the following policies and procedures in place:

  • Agent/professional representative policy and application process;
  • Student-athlete NIL policy and notification process;
  • Booster policies; and
  • Coach/athletic department staff policies.

We have been advising institutions on NIL matters since late 2019, and understand state NIL laws. Our NIL team would be happy to help you prepare the policies and procedures your institution needs in place July 1, 2021, or to answer any questions you or your athletic department have regarding NIL rule modernization.