In case you hadn’t heard, college athletes are now able to profit off of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Late last month, the Supreme Court issued a landmark (and unanimous) decision that essentially held that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits student-athletes receive for playing sports. Though the opinion did not specifically address NIL rights, it is clear that any effort the NCAA makes to restrict such rights would be construed as a violation of this country’s antitrust laws.
As such, the NCAA voted to suspend its NIL-related amateurism rules, thereby allowing student-athletes to monetize their NIL rights without fear of being declared ineligible. There are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered with respect to these issues — for instance, there is not yet a federal law that governs student-athletes’ NIL rights, so each athlete’s specific rights are dependent upon the state in which he or she attends college — but for our purposes here at Pro Football Rumors, there are two major takeaways.
One, as Ben Volin of the Boston Globe details, the NFLPA has issued a memo to agents making it clear that while they are free to enter into marketing deals with collegiate players, such deals cannot include inducements for those players to sign with the agent when they elect to turn pro. In fact, agents are not even permitted to have discussions with the player about future representation. That will be a difficult rule for the union to enforce, but it’s worth noting nonetheless.