The NCAA has announced that the Division I council has approved Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) reforms and will allow school assistance with NIL activity.

The new rule, established by the council in January, permits member schools to support student-athletes in NIL matters, including helping them find NIL opportunities and arranging deals with third parties. However, student-athletes have the choice to decline school assistance and retain control over the terms of their NIL agreements.

Morgyn Wynne, Vice Chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, said: “Student-athletes have been purposefully and regularly involved throughout the development process of the NIL amendments.

“SAAC supports the outcome today from the council’s adopted legislation regarding institutional involvement, transparency and disclosure because each element provides some stability and assistance to a very unstable environment.”

The decision was made by the Division I Council, which unanimously adopted a proposal permitting schools to offer support for student-athletes engaging in NIL activities, provided they disclose their NIL arrangements, with the change taking effect from 1 August. 

However, the council’s decision is pending final confirmation, awaiting the conclusion of the council meeting on Thursday and subsequent ratification by the Division I Board of Directors later this month.

Additionally, the council has made revisions to the previously established rule from January concerning disclosure obligations for student-athletes. Going forward, student-athletes seeking school assistance for their NIL activities must disclose to their respective schools any NIL activity valued at $600 or more within 30 days of entering or signing the agreement.

The information the students must provide their schools will be used to analyse trends and provide a degree of transparency, it will include contact details of all parties involved along with service providers, as well as specifics of the agreement such as the services provided, duration, compensation and payment format.

Lynda Tealer, Deputy Athletics Director at Florida and Chair of the NIL working group, commented: “The council’s action today represents yet another step toward providing student-athletes with increased support and clarity in the NIL landscape.

“The working group heard from student-athletes that they would welcome NIL assistance from their schools, whom they trust, and we continue to prioritise their experience as we craft rules for NIL-related activities.”

This comes after the Tennessee Federal District Court prohibited the NCAA from restricting schools’ use of NIL guarantees as incentives to attend a member university in February.

In addition, prospective student-athletes must disclose identical details regarding pre-enrolment NIL activities within 30 days of enrolment to be eligible for school assistance in NIL activities upon becoming student-athletes.

The amended rule also allows for schools to develop and implement their own policies to best secure disclosures and provide a reasonable grace period for student-athletes who do not report within the 30 days.

Wynne concluded: “SAAC believes these changes are what student-athletes need as a resource to help realistically guide them through conversations of brand worth. We look forward to seeing how the student-athlete protections passed back in January and today’s adoption work together to transform the NIL landscape and the student-athlete experience.”

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