In The Wall Street Journal, Attorneys Examine Effects of New Student-Athlete Sponsor Rules

In The News
January 12, 2021

An article published in The Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal co-authored by IP transactions counsel Erica Han (Boston) examines how colleges and universities are affected by legislation and guidelines in development to allow student-athletes to earn money for their name, image, and likeness. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prohibits student-athletes from accepting money from third-party sources, but momentum has shifted in recent years to permit these non-professionals to receive compensation related to their name, image, and likeness. A few states, including California, Florida, and Colorado, have adopted legislation that gives student-athletes more control over their name, image and likeness. 

While many of these measures open a path for student-athletes to profit from their identity, the specific provisions vary and in some cases conflict. For example, a federal bill would not cap earning potential or the nature of arrangements a student-athlete could enter, while the NCAA proposal would seek certain limits. Litigation & enforcement partner and head of the firm’s Sports Industry Initiative Chris Conniff (New York) explains in the article that the possible conflict between these two sets of rules is likely to result in continued litigation between student athletes and the NCAA.