On January 10, 2024, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I Council unanimously adopted a proposal for stricter student-athlete protections related to name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules. The protections include making education on NIL available to student-athletes and schools; the creation of standardized NIL contract recommendations; “voluntary” registration for service providers; and providing nationwide data on NIL to student-athletes and schools. This adopted proposal will become effective on August 1, 2024.

Quick Hits

  • The NCAA Division I Council adopted an NIL proposal that will create a voluntary registration process for service providers, including agents and financial advisors.
  • The proposal will require student-athletes to disclose NIL agreements greater than $600 in value.
  • The adopted proposal will take effect on August 1, 2024.
  • The NCAA continues to pursue enforcement actions against member institutions for violations related to NIL activities.

Summary of NCAA's Proposal for School Involvement in NIL Activities

Voluntary Registration

The NCAA will create a voluntary registration process for service providers, including agents and financial advisors. This registry will “serve as a centralized source for providers interested in working with student-athletes.” The stated goal of the registry is to “assist student-athletes with making informed decisions as they select their service providers” by providing a “national, centralized registration process that collects and publishes information on service providers.”

Disclosure Requirements

Under the rules, student-athletes will be required to disclose NIL agreements greater than $600 in value to their schools “no later than 30 days after entering or signing [an] NIL agreement.” The required data disclosure will include contact information for all involved parties and service providers, agreement terms, and the payment structure and amount of compensation between the student-athlete and service provider. Prospective student-athletes will have the same disclosure obligations within thirty days of enrollment.

This data will be provided to the NCAA in an anonymized format at least twice per year. The NCAA plans to use that information to develop a database so that student-athletes can better understand NIL agreement trends and so “the [NCAA] and member schools can make informed decisions about NIL-related policy.” This disclosure requirement follows more than twenty state laws that require student-athletes to disclose NIL agreements.

According to a statement issued by the NCAA, it “remains firmly committed to protecting and expanding student-athletes' NIL rights and opportunities.” “In recent years,” the NCAA stated, “this has been especially true as it relates to establishing and enforcing a consistent set of national rules intended to manage the name, image and likeness environment.”

Standardized Contracts

In conjunction with member schools, the NCAA will provide student-athletes with education on contractual obligations. This will include developing “a template contract and recommended contract terms, to ensure student-athletes and their families make informed decisions about NIL agreements.”

Comprehensive NIL Education

The NCAA will also develop an extensive plan to provide continuing education and resources to support student-athletes on policies, rules, and best practices related to NIL. These resources will also be provided to other key stakeholders.

Key Takeaways

These rules will establish consistent national NIL disclosure and transparency requirements for NCAA member schools and collectives. Member schools and collectives are still prohibited from engaging in NIL discussions with prospects or potential transfer student-athletes or compensating student-athletes for NIL. Higher education institutions may want to review their existing NIL policies to ensure compliance with the NCAA's rules and keep track of pending federal and state legislation regarding the same.

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