College Athletes Set to Benefit from New NIL Rules


Darin Martin, Editor

As of July 2021, the NCAA officially passed a rule change that college athletes will now be allowed to profit off their name and image rights for the foreseeable future. Athletes still won’t be paid by their schools like professionals are paid by their teams. However, the rule allows athletes to profit off their names, images, and likeness (NIL). Athletes will be allowed to monetize social media and earn money from endorsements, autograph signings, and other financial opportunities.

The NIL policies also state that all money-making ventures must be in line with the laws outlined in the state in which the school is located. Athletes must first present their NIL activities to their schools, who will then make sure that the venture they are pursuing is legal according to state law. There are occasions where state law overrules NCAA regulations. One example is in California.

In August 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act. This prevents an athlete from being declared ineligible to play in the NCAA just because they received payment under NIL. Athletes are not allowed to accept NIL deals unless they play, so you can’t just sit out and earn a paycheck from elsewhere. Athletes also cannot accept paychecks from the colleges they attend.

Multiple players have already taken advantage of these new rules to sign NIL deals. Marshall University offensive lineman Will Ulmer, Kentucky University men’s basketball player Dontaie Allen, and Arkansas State wide receiver Trey Knox have all taken advantage of the opportunity to sign NIL deals.

NIL is a rule that is long overdue. College athletes bring in billions of dollars for their schools and give their schools valuable exposure. These players bring in a majority of the money for their schools yet, until recently, they had to sit back and watch everyone around them get paid. Now they can finally get what is rightfully theirs.