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The in’s and out’s of NIL deals and how it is shaping collegiate athletics

  • 14 March 2023

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to allow college athletes to benefit financially from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Prior to this change, college athletes were not allowed to profit from their own personal brand, even if it was their athletic talent that brought them recognition. However, with the introduction of new legislation and policy changes, college athletes are now able to enter into NIL deals and make money from their own image and likeness.

The term “NIL deals” refers to agreements between college athletes and third-party companies, which allow the athlete to use their name, image, and likeness for commercial purposes. This can include things like social media endorsements, merchandise sales, and appearances at events. The money earned from these deals can help offset the high costs of attending college and competing as an athlete, and can also provide valuable financial support for athletes from low-income backgrounds.

One of the key arguments in favor of NIL deals is that they promote fairness and equity in college athletics. For many years, college athletes have been at a significant disadvantage compared to their peers in professional sports, who are able to earn substantial sums of money from endorsements and other business ventures. By allowing college athletes to monetize their own personal brand, NIL deals can help level the playing field and provide more opportunities for all athletes to benefit from their talent and hard work.

Another important benefit of NIL deals is that they can help prepare college athletes for the professional world. By learning how to manage their own brand and negotiate contracts at an early stage in their careers, athletes can develop valuable skills that will serve them well in the future. This can include things like financial management marketing, and public speaking, all of which are essential for success in many different careers.

Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks to NIL deals. One concern is that they could lead to a “wild west” scenario, where unscrupulous agents and businesses exploit young athletes for their own financial gain. To address this concern, many states have introduced legislation that sets limits on the types of deals that athletes can enter into and requires them to disclose any financial arrangements to their schools.

Overall, NIL deals represent an important step forward for college athletics. By allowing athletes to benefit financially from their own name, image, and likeness, we can help promote fairness, equity, and opportunity for all student-athletes. While there are certainly some challenges that will need to be addressed along the way, the potential benefits of NIL deals are too significant to ignore.