New NCAA NIL Policy poses possible issues to College Sports

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One of the most debated topics in all of sports is regarding NCAA student-athletes and whether or not they should be able to capitalize monetarily on their athletics. On June 30, the NCAA announced in a press release, starting on July 1, all student-athletes would have permission to benefit from their name, image and likeness across all three divisions. That decision comes with restrictions; student-athletes must obey state law, are able to use an agent for NIL opportunities and all NIL activities have to be reported to the institution of the athletes. According Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Young, the University of Indianapolis has its own restrictions on top of those presented by the NCAA.

“The primary restrictions are basically using the institution’s logo, uniform [and]name to make money,” Young said. “If I tried to do that for an outside camp, I couldn’t name it the Scott Young University of Indianapolis basketball camp,  it would just have to be the Scott Young camp. If you’re representing the institution, you have to pay the institution a fee to use their name and licensing for their logos. And so that’s kind of the main thing there.”

One of the first companies to take avantage of the new NIL rules was Barstool Sports, a sports media company, which created the “Barstool Athletes” program July 1, according to a tweet by Barstool President Dave Portnoy. However, Young said, NCAA policies may restrict athletes from joining the program. 

“The piece that we’re just starting to work through more and more, and there’ll be a pretty quick update to that is that you can’t represent anything that’s affiliated with tobacco, alcohol or gambling because those are in NCAA banned products,” Young said. “So I think that’s going to cause a little bit of a challenge because Barstool Sports is affiliated with gambling.”

According to Jackie Paquette, associate director of athletics for student support and senior woman administrator, the biggest issue that faces the athletes pursuing these NIL deals is lack of attention to the guidelines put forth by UIndy. She said that students seeking advice helps alleviate this issue.

“I think that the biggest way to combat that is transparency,” Paquette said. “Are the student-athletes coming to us and asking the right questions about utilizing their name, image and likeness and how they can gain from that? I think that that’s where it starts is that they need to come to us.” 

According to Young, he had plenty of time to develop the guidelines for UIndy as he was one of the people on the NCAA Division II legislative committee that helped write the legislation for the NIL. He said this allowed him to think through plans and be prepared for when the policy went into effect. 

Being in Indianapolis, and especially at UIndy, changes the way this may affect the athletes according to Paquette. She said that due to the numerous large schools located in Indianapolis, student-athletes may not have as many of the same opportunities as if they were in a smaller town. However, Young said he does worry about the effect this policy could have on recruiting. He said that one of the main pillars of this policy is that it will not provide a recruiting advantage, but that it is not a reality.

“If a quarterback at [the University of] Alabama is getting nearly a million dollars and a quarterback for Clemson [University] is going  to be on a Dr Pepper commercial, that’s going to be a recruiting tool for Alabama and Clemson, Young said. “…You just saw that the one guy left high school early to go to [The] Ohio State [University] because of opportunities through name, image likeness. So it’s going to be a recruiting tool for sure.” 

For the UIndy student-athletes, Young said he is most concerned about athletes not getting the guidance they need to get the most out of their NIL agreements and to avoid from legal issues. 

“I would recommend, if you’re going to sign any kind of big agreement, you need to consult with legal advice to make sure that you are getting the best of your opportunity, but also not putting yourself in a bad place,” Young said. “I think we have very bright, intelligent student-athletes and we have some that will fall directly for ‘I can get  this’ and they’ll not read into the fine details.”

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