In a Westlaw Today article, IP transactions counsel Erica Han (Boston) and IP litigation counsel Evan Gourvitz (New York) examine a major milestone for college athletics. The governance bodies of all three NCAA divisions adopted an interim suspension of the amateurism rules that had prohibited student-athletes from profiting from the commercial exploitation of their names, images, and likenesses.
Student-athletes will now be able to engage in NIL activities that are consistent with relevant state laws (if any) without violating NCAA rules and/or forfeiting their eligibility. The interim policy also allows student-athletes to use third-party service providers, such as agents, to assist with their NIL activities, and schools and conferences may choose to adopt their own policies for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.
The authors explain that although the NCAA’s move is a substantial step toward revising the NCAA’s long-held and much criticized concept of amateurism in college athletics, there still is a great deal of confusion and uncertainty about how to implement new NIL policies.
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