Home » What is NIL and how might it fundamentally change NCAA sports?

What is NIL and how might it fundamentally change NCAA sports?

By P. Douglas Barr
Managing Director, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

Most avid college sports fans are aware that NCAA athletes might soon be able to make money from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), but opinions about the effect of this change (if it happens) range from salvation to ruination of NCAA sports.

The NCAA has long been considering changing its core “amateurism” rules against “pay for play” to allow NIL compensation in some form but other powerful forces, frustrated with the NCAA, have been hard at work.

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in Alston v. NCAA, the second ground-breaking case brought by NCAA athletes challenging the NCAA’s rules against pay-for-play compensation on antitrust grounds.

Nineteen  states have passed statutes that make it unlawful for NCAA schools in their jurisdictions to deprive athletes of NIL compensation.  The NIL statutes in six of those states – Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas – are set to go into effect on July 1, 2021. Congress is considering at least six bills meant to allow and regulate NCAA athletes’ NIL compensation. A monumental collision is about to take place on July 1, 2021.

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