top of page

NIL for Student Athletes

The term "NIL" refers to Name, Image, and Likeness. It represents a policy shift in college sports, particularly in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) in the United States, that now allows student-athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. Prior to this change, NCAA rules strictly prohibited college athletes from receiving any compensation related to their status as student-athletes, apart from scholarships and stipends covering the cost of attendance.

Key Provisions

Endorsements and Sponsorships

Student-athletes can now sign endorsement deals with brands, where they promote products or services on their social media, make appearances, or participate in advertisements.

Compliance and State Laws

The rules regarding NIL can vary by state and by school, and there are compliance considerations that the athletes, the schools, and the sponsors must adhere to. Some states have enacted their own NIL laws, and schools may have their own policies regarding NIL activities.


Athletes can start their own businesses or engage in ventures like giving lessons, starting a camp, or writing a book, and they can use their status as an athlete to promote these activities.

Impact on Recruitment

NIL deals have become a factor in the recruitment of high school athletes to college programs, with some athletes considering the potential for NIL earnings when choosing which college to attend.

Social Media and Online Platforms

Student-athletes can monetize their social media platforms by creating content on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.

NIL policy prohibits

  1. Deals without a quid pro quo. The athlete must do something in return for payment, such as providing a service or making a social media post.

  2. No deal or payment can be tied to an athlete's athletic performance or achievement.

  3. Deals can’t be recruiting inducements, meaning deals can’t be offered in return for a commitment to attend a specific school.

  4. Schools can’t enter into NIL deals with their own athletes. All deals must be made through brands or outside agencies.

bottom of page