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LOOK: Details of the NCAA’s upcoming NIL legislation emerge

The NCAA is set to present legislation to Congress next week regarding the monetization of student-athletes’ names, images, and likenesses.

In a draft obtained by Sports Illustrated, the NCAA will propose that student-athletes may earn money while in school, but the restrictions will be rather significant.

While the draft only serves as an outline for the NCAA’s thinking, the restrictions are expected to ban athletes from signing endorsement deals until they have completed one semester of college, force schools to make NIL contracts public, and maintain the right to bar individuals from specific NIL opportunities.

Nonetheless, it’s a step in the right direction for those hoping for schools to boast some level of competition for the G League and overseas options for high-profile athletes hoping to make money immediately after high school.

Here is the summary of the proposed legislation – called the Student-Athlete Equity Act of 2020 – obtained by Sports Illustrated:

The proposed Act ensures that all Student-Athletes can monetize their Publicity Rights (also known as name, image, and likeness, or “NIL” rights) pursuant to:

  • a uniform national structure;
  • the assistance of qualified agents and advisors; and
  • safeguards to prevent payments actually intended to induce or compensate a Student-Athlete for playing sports at a particular university from being mischaracterized as payments for Publicity Rights.

Publicity Rights of Student-Athletes

Section 3(b) ensures that each Student-Athlete can license his or her Publicity Rights, subject to narrow safeguards, which afford the NCAA very narrow authority to limit or prohibit payments:

  • to induce a prospective Student-Athlete to attend a particular institution;
  • by or on behalf of institutions; and
  • for Publicity Rights licenses prior to the completion of a semester of college work.

The term “Compensation” is defined in Section 2 in a manner to ensure that the NCAA cannot regulate or limit certain fundamental benefits now available to all Division I Student-Athletes, including:

  • full “cost of attendance” athletic scholarships;
  • Pell and other governmental grants;
  • health and disability insurance payments and benefits; and
  • career counseling, and legitimate employment.

Section 3(c) permits individual institutions, acting alone and not in coordination, to prevent Student-Athletes from entering into endorsement agreements that violate university standards or that conflict with institutional sponsorship agreements.


Section 4 of the Act provides that all agreements with Certified Agents and all Publicity Rights licenses will be publicly available, which should help to prevent Student-Athletes from acting without sufficient information and also be beneficial in implementing the provisions of Section 3(b).

Agents and Advisors

Section 5 of the Act establishes a “Certification Office” within the Federal Trade Commission for the purpose of licensing and regulating agents and advisors. Consistent with the provisions of section 3(b)(ii), section 3(a) ensures that Student-Athletes can retain Certified Agents once they have passed the equivalent of one semester of institution course work.

Limited Safe Harbor/Preemption

Section 6 ensures that the NCAA, conferences and institutions will not be subjected to inappropriate liability and preempts a patchwork of inconsistent state laws.

Are you in favor of the NCAA’s anticipated proposal?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

10 Comments for LOOK: Details of the NCAA’s upcoming NIL legislation emerge

  1. runningunnin.454
    11:34 am July 18, 2020 Permalink

    Wow, didn’t know the ncaa could introduce legislation to Congress; if so, I have some bills I’d like to propose.
    Maybe they just slipped it under Roger Wicker’s door; this will certainly have to go through the Senate Commerce Committee.

    • ScoggDog
      2:31 pm July 18, 2020 Permalink

      Exactly. How about the Federal Government get out of the way of this argument between private parties ?

      It was bad enough that the FBI somehow convinced a jury that breaking NCAA rules was somehow a crime. This is even worse.

    • CrystalBall
      5:26 pm July 18, 2020 Permalink

      The FBI was investigating fraud and bribery. It just so happend those being investigated were involved in college athletics.
      NCAA was not part of their investigations.

  2. UKLugo
    11:55 am July 18, 2020 Permalink

    Not bad. Except I dont really like the”…that conflict with institutional sponsorship agreements.” As long as they aren’t doing it during a school sponsored event, then I dont think they should restrict anything based on that premise.

  3. Lip Man 1
    1:11 pm July 18, 2020 Permalink

    Congress will not get involved in this. And with the recent sentiment against the NCAA by a number of individuals as well as states this has little chance of becoming law.

    Very restrictive and would certainly be challenged in court.via lawsuits from athletes themselves.

    The NCAA refuses to see reality, their days of controlling athletes in total are coming to an end. Yet like the MLB owners who were warned to modify the option clause while they still had a chance to get some of what they want, the NCAA refuses to even do that. It still is “our way or the highway…” They are in for a rude awakening.

  4. Megan
    1:17 pm July 18, 2020 Permalink

    Yes! No more exploitation! Billions and billions for the NCAA will now be offset by comparative crumbs for some big-name players. That will surely quiet the critics. Never again will they be heard to complain that the NCAA is treating players unfairly. Problem solved! So happy we’ll never have to read about the evils of the un-American amateur model ever again. Yay! Party with no masks or social distancing at 4ever’s house!

  5. runningunnin.454
    3:37 pm July 18, 2020 Permalink

    No wayy I’m going to clickk on that linkk LOL.