College athletes will be able to earn money on endorsement deals and sponsorships now after the NCAA approved an interim name, image, and likeness policy, The Athletic reports.
The policy comes as a number of states were set to put laws into effect Thursday allowing players to earn money for their likeness. More than 20 states have passed and signed NIL laws already, many of which were set to begin July 1st.
The NCAA felt pressure to lay out a national policy, many fearing an uneven roll-out of policies could cause recruiting chaos and affect schools in states where the laws hadn't been passed.
The league had long denied athletes the ability to profit off their image, or by any means, based on the concept of amateurism. But the heart of that concept has come under fire in recent years as schools, coaches, conference, and rights holders have turned college athletics into a billion-dollar industry. Earlier in June the US Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA in an antitrust hearing; Justice Brett Kavanaugh said in his opinion that "The NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America.”
The students may not receive money to sign with schools or for performance incentives, but can sign sponsorships, autographs, and generally capitalize on their name, image, or likeness.
Below is the official guidance from the NCAA:
Official from the NCAA. As expected, minimalist guidance.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) June 30, 2021
It's the schools' hands now (those without state laws; those with state laws will adhere to their state statute). pic.twitter.com/eBVC5xZzza
Earlier this week Wisconsin's Collin Wilder became one of the first players to unveil a t-shirt design that he can now sell.
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