For the first time in its existence, the NCAA will now allow student-athletes to make money from business ventures and partnerships without losing their eligibility.
After nearly a decade of legal and public pressure, students are now able to make money from their likenesses, images, and names, in order to give them a slice of the billions generated from collegiate sports each year.
Opportunities for these athletes are abundant, but without very clear delineation from the NCAA about what is permitted and what is not, this era is beginning in a bit of a grey area.
NIL rights are frequently referred to as an individual's right to publicity. Collegiate athletes can now accept payment in exchange for their faces being used in advertisements or product endorsements. Athletes can also make a profit on personal appearances and their own personal business pursuits. Prior to now, college athletes forfeited their rights to sell their NIL in their scholarship agreements.
Athletes can now also hire agents, lawyers, and accountants to assist them through these new ventures. The NFLPA strictly warned professional agents that their contracts with collegiate athletes cannot stipulate that the athlete continue to work with them should the athlete turn pro.
While there aren't many hard rules just yet, it's likely that in the future Congress will pass legislation that allows for one universal NIL standard for all college athletes in every state.