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Delay in NIL Reform Hurting Female Athletes

by michelle
Lacrosse athletes celebrate
NIL NETWORK INSIGHT

Recap: Boston College lacrosse athlete Charlotte North led her team to BC’s first title this spring. She scored six goals in the championship match which she added to her record-breaking season and won lacrosse’s version of the Heisman trophy – the Tewaaraton. Off the field, people recognize her in hotel lobbies and her Instagram account nearly doubled in size in just a few days after the title game. North is in an excellent position to monetize her NIL; potentially the best position of her career. However, due to the NCAA postponing their vote to reform NIL (which would’ve had a start date of August 1 of this year), North won’t have the opportunity to make money just yet.

Observations: This article brings up a few great questions – (1) If Texas passes their NIL bill (effective date of July 1) and North goes home to Texas for the summer, can she run camps there? Massachusetts doesn’t yet have an NIL bill passed. (2) Is the NCAA really going to strip athletes of their eligibility for doing things that are legal the next state over? While I don’t think that the NCAA will, I know that an athlete’s eligibility is not something they are willing to put on the line. These are the types of questions that will make this space even more chaotic after July 1. It would be in the best interest of the NCAA and to it’s member institutions to pass sweeping NIL reform at their June meetings.

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — To fully understand the breadth of stardom for Boston College women’s lacrosse stalwart Charlotte North, BC coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein makes two comparisons.

In the lacrosse world, Walker-Weinstein mentions former Syracuse men’s star Gary Gait, who helped popularize the sport amid a run of improvisational brilliance in the late 1980s.

Outside of lacrosse, Walker-Weinstein contextualizes North’s rise by comparing it to that of Stephen Curry with the Golden State Warriors. The combination of flair, creativity and production are unlike anything women’s lacrosse has seen. “She’s just exploding with talent,” Walker-Weinstein said. “People have never seen a girl use her stick the way she’s using it.”

In the wake of her six-goal performance to lead Boston College to its first-ever lacrosse title by defeating Syracuse last weekend, North is unquestionably the hottest name in lacrosse. She broke the NCAA record for goals in a season with 102 and is the heavy favorite to win lacrosse’s Heisman Trophy — the Tewaaraton Award — on Saturday.

Instead of leveraging her epic season, Charlotte North is instead the poster child for the ambiguity surrounding the NCAA’s new Name, Image and Likeness rules.

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