41 states are somewhere in the process of passing laws regarding the ability of college athletes to profit off of their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). Several of these laws are set to go into effect on July 1st of this year (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico), and several others could pass and go into effect by then. The other states either have a later effective date or their bill has not yet been voted and signed into law. Of the nine states with nothing in the pipeline, only Indiana and Maine have DIII wrestling.
These states have essentially called the NCAA’s bluff and dared the association to penalize schools and athletes that follow the new laws. Sala de culturismo de judo en Artix, sala de deportes vigra 50 mg tab venta espana tristan – gap, hautes-alpes: estudiante de staps da lecciones de deportes (culturismo y carrera). The NCAA has indicated a desire to change its bylaws, possibly as soon as this summer, to allow for athletes to profit from NIL. This is not the first time the NCAA has wanted to address the issue, but voting on a prior proposal was postponed at the most recent NCAA Convention. With the legislation going into effect shortly, the NCAA has decided (or at least said) that it is ready to make some changes.
Much has been written on this issue, including today’s Extra Points newsletter from Matt Brown in which he spoke to several schools in Ohio, including DIII schools. ESPN has a good timeline of what has happened so far. Opendorse, a company hoping to help athletes cash in on these new opportunities has a roundup of the laws and proposals in all 41 states.
What does this mean for Division III athletes and wrestlers specifically? Most DIII athletes are not in a position to become a major endorser for a national brand. More likely activities include social media sponsored posts, athletes selling t-shirts or other merchandise with their name or picture on it, local business sponsorship, and other local opportunities. Athletes will need to cultivate these relationships and make themselves marketable and desirable to potential sponsorship partners. This might also turn out to be more work than it is worth. Division III schools are unlikely to partner with outside organizations (the way Ohio State has with Opendorse) to help their athletes make the most of these opportunities. Instead, it may just be a way for athletes to promote themselves via camps and clinics to make some extra money in the offseason.
DIII bylaw 22.214.171.124 lays out all the restrictions on when an athlete’s name or picture can appear in a commercial advertisement. Most of these should go away so businesses can directly compensate athletes for the use of their images. If the local pizza place wants a life-sized heavyweight wall decal, the heavyweight can be paid for it.
It could be an exciting time for some DIII athletes, or it could be a situation where little changes at this level while the effects are all at the DI, primarily Power 5, level. Even if a wrestler makes a few hundred dollars for the use of his NIL, that is a few hundred dollars he would not have had the opportunity to earn before.
Things to watch in the future:
1. When will states put their laws into effect?
2. What will the NCAA come up with, and how will that mesh with state-by-state rules?
3. Will federal legislation eventually trump all of this and put the whole country under the same rules?
4. Which current DIII wrestler has the most Instagram followers and might be best positioned to capitalize?
Look at this rule. The whole book looks like this.
126.96.36.199 Commercial Advertisement. It is permissible for a student-athlete’s name or picture, or the group picture of an institution’s athletics squad, to appear in an advertisement of a particular business, commercial product or service, provided:
(a) The primary purpose of the advertisement is to publicize the sponsor’s congratulations to the student-athlete or team;
(b) The advertisement does not include a reproduction of the product with which the business is associated or any other item or description identifying the business or service other than its name or trademark;
(c) There is no indication in the makeup or wording of the advertisement that the squad members, individually or collectively, or the institution endorses the product or service of the advertiser;
(d) The student-athlete has not signed a consent or release granting permission to use the student-athlete’s name or picture in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of this section;
(e) If the student-athlete has received a prize from a commercial sponsor in conjunction with participation in a member institution’s promotional activities and the advertisement involves the announcement of receipt of the prize, the receipt of the prize is consistent with the provisions of Bylaw188.8.131.52.4 and official interpretations approved by the Management Council;
(f) The individual does not accept any remuneration for or permit the use of their name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale and use of a commercial product or service of any kind; and (Adopted: 1/14/02, Revised: 9/1/20)
(g) The individual does not receive any remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service. (Revised: 1/14/02)