A historic day is upon us. Beginning today, July 1, Division I college athletes will be able to monetize their names, images, likenesses, and other indicia of persona (“NIL”) without penalty from the NCAA, collegiate athletic conferences, or the athletes' own schools. Pushed by numerous states' passing legislation to address such monetization, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved an interim NIL policy on June 30 allowing for such monetization regardless of which state the athlete goes to school or resides. The NCAA intends to use this interim policy until federal legislation addressing NIL monetization is passed.
The players involved:
Finally, although a new avenue for compensation is open, there still is no “pay to play” – collegiate athletes are not allowed to be paid to play their sport. Even with the historic NCAA v. Alston Supreme Court decision from last week (in which all nine justices unanimously determined that the NCAA and its member schools were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act for agreeing to limit how much the schools can compensate college athletes for education-related expenses, such as laptops and study abroad programs), the amateur athlete model remains for now. On top of that, collegiate athletes still will not share in media or school sponsorship revenue. But given these historic few weeks in the world of college sports, we may not be far off.
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