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September 2021

    We are certainly in the Wild West of the Name, Image, and Likeness era. It seems that every week, there is new NIL activity that further pushes the boundary of what is permissible. While at the moment there doesn’t appear to be any entity that is responsible for regulating this space, it is widely believed that there will be increased regulations sooner than later.  As a coach, keeping your athletes eligible is high on your priority list. One of the concerns that I’ve heard from coaches around the country is this:  My athletes don’t have to report anything NIL to me. How can I make sure that they aren’t jeopardizing their eligibility? Or potentially engaging in NIL activities that could bring sanctions to my whole team?Well, the hard answer to that at the moment is you can’t. However, education is paramount to success in this new era of collegiate sports. Below are a few issues to make your athletes aware of as they take advantage of their NIL:  REPORTING OBLIGATIONS: When are your athletes required to report deals? Who do they report to? What is the process? What kind of details are they required to include? Do they need to wait for institutional approval prior to agreeing to the deal with the brand? What are the penalties for them not adhering to these guidelines? These details should be outlined in your institutional NIL policy but I encourage you to reiterate the importance to your athletes. With NIL still in its infancy, getting approval of deals prior to engaging protects your athletes and their eligibility.  INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES: While the NCAA interim policy doesn’t prevent international student-athletes from monetizing their NIL, their ability to do so will come down to what type of visa they’re on. At this time, most international SAs are being advised to not participate in NIL activities. If you have international athletes on your team that want to monetize their NIL, encourage them to visit your school’s International Student Affairs office to discuss. However, there is a company that is actively working on getting the visa rules updated! NOCAP Sports is collaborating with immigration attorneys and immigration legal organizations, and soon will be finalizing their comments and recommendations for the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). This month, NOCAP and their legal partners will be circulating a petition attached to our feedback for ICE.If you’re interested in supporting international student-athletes, you can register here so you don’t miss the petition! PROHIBITED PARTNERSHIPS: What is in your state and/or institutional NIL policy about prohibited partnerships? Can your athletes partner with alcohol companies? Tobacco? CBD? Guns? Are they permitted to monetize their NIL on OnlyFans? Can they be a “Barstool Athlete” or does your institution consider Barstool to be too closely connected with gambling? Can they partner with a restaurant that serves alcohol? What separates a restaurant from a bar? The list goes on with questions that have come up in the past few months of NIL.  Even if your athletes are aware of the prohibited partnerships …