NCAA Athletes Can Now Benefit Off Name, Likeness Beginning This Week

By Jason Hall

June 30, 2021

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National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes will now have the opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness beginning this week.

The NCAA announced it has "adopted a uniform interim policy suspending NCAA name, image and likeness rules for all incoming and current student-athletes in all sports" in a news release shared on its official website Wednesday (June 30) afternoon.

The new rules will go into effect beginning on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

The policy provides the following guidance to college athletes, recruits, their family members and schools:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law. 
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

“Today, NCAA members voted to allow college athletes to benefit from name, image and likeness opportunities, no matter where their school is located,” said Division I Board of Directors chair Denise Trauth, president at Texas State. “With this interim solution in place, we will continue to work with Congress to adopt federal legislation to support student-athletes.”

The new change was also crucial in Electronic Arts Sports plan to release its first college football video game since 2013.

The company said its latest release would be known as 'EA Sports College Football' and would not include the names, images or likeness of real college players in adherence to NCAA rules prohibiting student-athletes from selling their NIL rights while enrolled in college.

However, possible rules changes set either by the NCAA, state legislatures or Congress were expected open the door for EA Sports to negotiate with athletes to use their names.

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