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NCAA enacts temporary Name, Image and Likeness policy

The interim policy begins on July 1.

Michigan State v Virginia Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

After recommendation from the Division I Council, the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors has voted on and approved an interim policy for Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules that will allow Division I athletes to sign onto opportunities to monetize their individual names, images and likenesses. The NIL policy will take effect tomorrow, July 1. While this was an expected move after a lot of lead-up time, the Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reports it is now done deal.

The new policy will serve as a temporary stopgap following multiple prior meetings this year where the NCAA punted on the matter. It also comes in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling last week that struck down limits on compensation for student-athletes tied to academics. In the wake of that case and the looming rule change by the NCAA, Michigan State recently announced a new program called “EverGreen,” which will assist MSU student-athletes in signing NIL deals.

The official policy highlights, per the NCAA, are listed as follows:

  • College athletes can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.
  • Student-athletes who attend a school in a state without a NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • College athletes can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

The policy also preserves rules against pay-for-play (earning money for actual on-the-field play, such as $100 per touchdown scored) and recruiting inducements (such as a prospect being paid to sign with a certain school).

The new policy as enacted is somewhat purposefully vague, but serves as a stopgap for the 42 states and District of Columbia that either do not yet have NIL laws, or those laws are not set to take effect tomorrow, July 1, while student-athletes in the seven states who have NIL laws taking effect tomorrow, and one taking effect later in July, will have to follow state laws on the matter. Should the U.S. Congress pass a national NIL law for student-athletes at a later date, it would replace the NCAA policy voted on today.

The NCAA’s official news release can be found here. Additionally, a question-and-answer document regarding NIL was also provided by the NCAA.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”