A New Frontier: The NCAA & NIL (Collier County Women’s Bar Association)

Kelsey L. Smith

Hahn Loeser NIL Lawyers Marc J. Kessler (Columbus) and Kelsey L. Smith (Chicago) presented “A New Frontier: The NCAA & NIL,” during the Collier County Women’s Bar Association Judicial Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 18 at Kensington Country Club in Naples, Florida. With Bar Association members and area judges in attendance, Kessler and Smith spoke about how the NCAA now allows college athletes to earn money by using their own name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) for profit.

Kessler discussed a variety of NIL deals that have already been made for various NCAA College Football athletes, whether from the Big 10, the SEC, or otherwise, as well as how female athletes’ NIL deals have been faring under the new NIL landscape. Smith discussed how these changes have left universities, collectives, and student-athletes with little to no guidance on what is permissible under the new framework (in addition to applicable state law) and how compliance and strategy initiatives, as to university policy, recruiting, and NIL generally, remain in flux.  Overall, they delved into how the NCAA NIL development has fundamentally changed the landscape of collegiate sports, given rise to formation of collectives to support universities in providing NIL opportunities, and otherwise created countless innovative opportunities for collegiate athletes to earn income from their NIL while engaged in college athletics without sacrificing eligibility.

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