On Thursday, July 1st, the new name, image, and likeness (NIL) laws for college athletes in various states went into effect, signaling a massive paradigm shift in the world of college athletics in America. Earlier last week, news broke that in wake of Congress’s failure to pass a federal NIL law, the NCAA implemented rules that allowed student-athletes in states without NIL legislation to profit off of their NIL (Hess, “Here’s How College Athletes Can Now Make Money, According to the NCAA’s New Policy”). The NCAA’s change of their rules regarding NIL for student-athletes occurs simultaneously with the long-awaited July 1st date, in which the NIL laws of 16 states, including Georgia, Florida, and Texas, officially went into effect (Goldman, “A New Era Dawns in College Sports, as the NCAA Scrambles to Keep Up”).
Despite being only a day removed from the July 1st date, numerous college athletes had already jumped at the chance to reach endorsement deals. Two SEC quarterbacks, Auburn’s Bo Nix and LSU’s Miles Brennan, reached their own endorsement deals with Milo’s Sweet Tea and Smoothie King, respectively (Cobb, “As NIL Rules Go Into Effect, These NCAA Athletes Moved Quickly to Profit from Name, Image, and Likeness”). Two star women’s basketball players, the twin sisters Haley and Hanna Cavinder, reached endorsement deals with Boost Mobile (Cobb, “As NIL Rules Go Into Effect, These NCAA Athletes Moved Quickly to Profit from Name, Image, and Likeness”).
Yet it is not merely student-athletes who are taking advantage of the new opportunities provided by the recent NIL rule changes. Dave Portnoy, the president of Barstool Sports, the popular yet controversial media organization popular among college students, announced last week that his organization was going to start sponsoring college-athletes, including providing them with free Barstool apparel, and according to Axios, have already signed notable athletes such as Villanova men’s basketball star Collin Gillespie (Baker, “College Athletes Cash in on Day 1 of NIL Era”). Despite these seismic events, the full effects of these changes remains to be seen.
The NCAA’s rule change is not a long term solution, as they have already suggested that their adjustments are meant to serve as a temporary solution while the organization waits for a federal NIL bill (Hess, “Here’s How College Athletes Can Now Make Money, According to the NCAA’s New Policy”). In addition, it should be very interesting to observe how these rule changes play out come August and September, when the first semester and season of college athletics under the new NIL laws will take place, most notably with regards to the college football season, long one of the NCAA’s most profitable sports. Nevertheless, only one day into this new period of college sports, student-athletes appear to be all in.
- Hess, Abigail Johnson. “Here's How College Athletes Can Now Make Money, According to the NCAA's New Policy.” CNBC, CNBC, 1 July 2021, www.cnbc.com/2021/07/01/how-college-athletes-can-make-money-according-to-new-ncaa-nil-policy.html.
- Goldman, Tom. “A New Era Dawns In College Sports, As The NCAA Scrambles To Keep Up.” NPR, NPR, 28 June 2021, www.npr.org/2021/06/28/1010129443/a-new-era-dawns-in-college-sports-as-the-ncaa-scrambles-to-keep-up.
- Cobb Jul 1, David. “As NIL Rules Go into Effect, These NCAA Athletes Moved Quickly to Profit from Name, Image and Likeness.” CBSSports.com, 1 July 2021, www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/as-nil-rules-go-into-effect-these-ncaa-athletes-moved-quickly-to-profit-from-name-image-and-likeness/.
- Baker, Kendall. “NIL Era of College Sports Gets off to Roaring Start as Athletes Cash in on Day 1.” Axios, 2 July 2021, www.axios.com/nil-deals-college-sports-92d1993c-982b-45dc-8e5f-cd3c04d94499.html.