New NIL Regulations Approved at NCAA Convention

Last Updated on January 13, 2024

Name, image and likeness took center stage at this week’s NCAA Convention in Phoenix. The Division I Council was hard at work approving, introducing and developing proposals that have the potential to alter the landscape of college sports.

On Wednesday, the DI Council unanimously adopted a proposal meant to protect student-athletes when it comes to NIL deals. There are four main components that were considered:

  1. Voluntary Registration: NIL service providers (like agents and financial advisors) will be able to register at a central source specifically meant for student-athlete use in vetting their representation options.
  2. Disclosure Requirements: Student-athletes will be required to disclose to their schools any information relating to NIL agreements exceeding $600 no more than 30 days after entering into an agreement. This remedies issues with conflicting state laws regarding disclosure across the country by setting a national standard. Data collected will be aggregated and used in a database meant for student-athlete use.
  3. Standardized Contracts: The NCAA will team up with schools to educate student-athletes on contractual obligations. In doing so, it will develop templates for contracts and standardized terms to help student-athletes make the smartest decisions for themselves.
  4. Comprehensive NIL Education: The NCAA will develop a framework to provide education and resources to student-athletes on NIL policies, rules, etc.

New NIL Proposals

Additionally, the council introduced new proposals that present guidelines for school support of NIL activities, notably removing national restrictions on support provided by schools and third-party service providers to student-athletes. Within the proposals, schools would not be permitted to enter into compensated NIL deals with student-athletes but could act as agents and facilitate deals for them. Student athletes could also continue to retain their own representation.

The proposals include a standard definition for NIL entities as “an individual, group of individuals or any other entity (for example, a collective) organized to support the athletics interest of an NCAA school or group of schools by compensating student-athletes for NIL activities on behalf of itself or another third party.”

The council emphasized the need for schools and NIL entities to communicate effectively and follow NCAA rules and regulations. As far as prospects are concerned, the proposals prohibit any NIL entity from contacting them until they’ve signed a National Letter of Intent.

This proposals could be adopted as early as April, according to the release.

Thursday, however, offered a contradiction to Wednesday’s proposal. The Division I Board asked the DI Council to develop guidelines that would align with what NCAA President Charlie Baker introduced as “Project DI.” There are three elements of the project the council will have to consider, as taken directly from the release.

  1. Allowing schools to offer enhanced educational benefits at any level they deem appropriate.
  2. Allowing schools to enter into name, image and likeness agreements with student-athletes.
  3. Establishing a subdivision within Division I that would allow higher-resourced schools to provide additional financial support for college athletes — in compliance with Title IX requirements — and create rules that may differ from other programs in Division I.

The release was vague about what educational enhancements exactly they would be allowing schools to offer, but the most interesting of the three elements was allowing schools to enter into NIL deals with student-athletes. This directly contradicts what the DI Council proposed on Wednesday, which strictly prohibited this exact action.

According to a timeline in documents obtained by Yahoo Sports, the DI Board of Directors is expecting final recommendations from the council in June and an adoption could happen as soon as August.

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