LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has voted to change its name, image and likeness (NIL) policy Thursday afternoon as universities in Kentucky are releasing guidance on how student-athletes can monetize their fame one day before Gov. Andy Beshear's executive order is scheduled to take effect.
The Athletic first reported the board's decision approve the recommendation of the NCAA Division I Council to end its amateurism policy concerning name, image and likeness.
More than 20 states have passed legislation concerning NIL rights and protections, with legislation in several states set to take effect July 1.
"This is going to be trial and error," UofL Athletic Director Vince Tyra said. "There's going to things that occur. We're going to read about things, maybe mistakes as some opportunities that occur."
"The actual policies and rules of the game are still maturing and we're just trying to figure out what the NCAA might arrive at with their proposals for a temporary solution, whether there's a federal solution," Matt Banker, UofL associate athletic director, said.
"I'd like to thank the governor and the NCAA for letting it pass because as college students, it's hard for us out here," UofL football player Renato Brown said. "We can't have a job but the name, image and likeness should be helpful."
Schools including the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University have been preparing for this change for months, setting up classes and clinics for student-athletes and partnering with platforms to better help players navigate the new opportunities presented by NIL while protecting their brand.
"They think about Instagram posts and followings and being able to get a product that they can market that has a discount code and that discount code, when it's used, triggers a commission to them," Tyra said. "And they're pretty thoughtful about where those opportunities may be."
The University of Louisville distributed information to boosters Wednesday regarding permissible NIL activities and how donors can compensate the school's student-athletes.
UofL said student-athletes can monetize NIL through promoting or endorsing products, starting their own business (like camps or clinics) and more. Students can endorse a commercial product or service by posting about it on social media, making an in-person appearance and signing autographs.
Under Beshear's executive order, athletes can obtain a certified agent to assist with contract for NIL-related compensation. "Compensation" can refer to cash, gifts, payments for licensing or use of public rights and other intellectual property rights.
Students can not be compensated through financial aid, federal or state grants or scholarships, or payments for work performed other than for their athletic ability or participation on a team.
Universities cannot be involved in students' NIL opportunities, except to provide financial literacy, social media and brand management or other resources. Students will have to disclose all NIL activities to their school.
While Beshear's order and NCAA guidelines give an outline for what student-athletes can do, ESPN reported the loose framework in the NCAA's proposal can create several gray areas. Two Kentucky lawmakers pledged to push for legislation turning Beshear's order into Kentucky law. Kentucky's lawmakers will reconvene in early January for their regular session.
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