In case you haven’t heard, college athletes are now able to take advantage of their name, image and likeness (NIL). Late last month, the Supreme Court issued an urgent (and unanimous) decision that essentially argued that the NCAA cannot limit the education-related benefits that student-athletes receive for the sport. Although the opinion did not specifically address NIL rights, it is clear that any NCAA effort to limit such rights will be interpreted as a violation of this country’s antitrust laws.
Thus, the NCAA voted to suspend its amateurish rules in NIL, thus allowing student-athletes to monetize their NIL rights without fear of being declared ineligible. There are also many questions that remain unanswered regarding these issues – for example, there is no federal law governing the NIL rights of student-athletes, so the specific rights of each athlete depend on the state in which he or she is she attends college – but for our purposes here in Pro Football Rumors, there are two main take away.
One, like Ben Volin of the Boston Globe details, the NFLPA has issued an appointment to agents making it clear that while they are free to enter into marketing negotiations with collegiate players, such matters may not include motivations for those players to sign with the agent. when they choose to become pro. In fact, agents are not even allowed to discuss with the player about future representation. It will be a difficult rule to enforce by the union, but it is worth noting anyway.
In addition, there may now be some players who choose to stay in college longer than they would before, as they may be able to earn more money out of NIL fees as a college player than they would from an NFL contract. Of course, prior to the developments of the last few weeks, the primary factor in calculating a student-athlete was whether staying in school would improve their stock project. Now, this decision is a little more complicated.
It’s true that the stars and picks of the first round of slam-dunks who landed rookie contracts worth millions of dollars probably won’t see their decision of when to become overly influenced professionals. However, players who are popular figures on campus but who plan as late project picks will certainly have a lot to think about.
Said Agent Ron Slavin (via Chase Goodbread from NFL.com), “I think guys who could stay in school are (popular) skill position players who aren’t selected in the top 100, who can earn more money by staying in school than going into the draft for a bonus. sign $ 250,000 and maybe make a list, when they can go back to their school, be the superstar and maybe make 500 grand to a million. ”
We’ll have to wait until next year’s cycle project to see how all this unfolds, and more legislation could certainly be passed in the meantime. Until then, interested fans can access the Supreme Court’s opinion here, and can review a summary of the current state of NIL rights via this piece by the Athletic College Football Staff.