Endorsements begin as NCAA allows athletes to profit off name, image, likeness

Social media was filled with endorsements on the first day college athletes were allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL).

The policy change by the NCAA and a new state law in Texas both went into effect Thursday and both set specific restrictions.

"Why not allow our student athletes to essentially market themselves," said Jim Carr, President/CEO, Nattional Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

It’s a change that’s been a long time coming in the sports community. 

"We felt like the rules we had in place were archaic and probably served a really good purpose 30, 40, 50 years ago," Carr said.

Advocates for student-athletes say the larger endorsement deals may go to more well-known student-athletes in football or basketball – but the changes could also make a big difference for others.

"We’re seeing student athletes who may not be that well known for being a volleyball player, but they have a million Tik-Tok followers," Carr said. "If you're a student, that helps you to go there a couple of movies or to have extra spending money or maybe even help pay for your books for semester. And so that's a big deal."

The new changes have other implications as well. 

Walter Musgrove represents professional athletes in the NBA and the NFL. But with the new changes allowed by the NCAA, he could soon represent student-athletes as well. He says he’s already fielded several inquiries.

"It does allow for college athletes, as well as high school athletes, to enter into representation agreements with lawyers and agents," Musgrove said.

But in Texas, the new rules also come with restrictions.

"Before a student athlete can enter into a contract, they must present that contract to the university, at which point the University within ten days must respond," he said.

Student-athletes in Texas cannot endorse products related to alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and sex-oriented industries. Texas law also requires universities to offer a financial literacy class to student-athletes.

"I thought that was really helpful to ensure that the student athletes are prepared for the hopefully potential stream of income that many of them have never experienced at this point in their careers or their lives," Musgrove said.

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