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The Lead Up to NIL

    The Real March Madness: NIL Trends

    By Michelle Meyer │April 6, 2021They don’t call it March Madness for nothing. However, this year’s madness had little to do with the events on the court (although the Gonzaga vs UCLA semifinal game may go down as one of the greatest!), and more with the rights of collegiate athletes and their ability to monetize their Name, Image, and Likeness.#NotNCAAPropertyThe #NotNCAAProperty movement, started by Geo Baker of Rutgers, and promoted by Jordan Bohannon of Iowa and Isaiah Livers of Michigan, began trending the evening before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was set to kick off. Baker tweeted, “The NCAA OWNS my name, image and likeness. Someone on [a] music scholarship can profit from an album. Someone on academic scholarship can have a tutor service. For [people] who say ‘an athletic scholarship is enough,’ anything less than equal rights is never enough. I am #NotNCAAProperty.”While every year the NCAA makes hundreds of millions of dollars while their athletes may receive a scholarship and cost of attendance, this year really shined a light on what it means to be a collegiate athlete in a revenue generating sport:Most non-revenue generating sports were postponed or canceled but football and basketball pushed forward. Regular students were off-campus and engaged in “virtual learning” but athletes were required to be on campus, regularly getting tested and told to isolate themselves.Finally, the NCAA’s biggest revenue generator, March Madness, required around 1500 athletes from around the country to fly to Indianapolis (men) and San Antonio (women), isolate themselves in a hotel away from friends, family and even teammates for up to three weeks.“When we go to the games, it’s like we’re in jail and we get out,” Adrian Autry, an assistant coach at Syracuse, told the Syracuse Post-Standard.Baker, Bohannon, and Livers requested and were granted a meeting with NCAA President Mark Emmert, although they were disappointed with his responses. “Our meeting was the same thing he’s doing in the public,” Bohannon said. “A lot of talk and he’s waiting on Congress to decide on legislation.” Senator Richard Blumenthal, who co-authored a federal NIL bill with Senator Cory Booker, responded, “It’s a clear sign of lack of leadership. He wants Congress to help him. Well, we’re going to help him. We’re going to give him help. The help we’re going to give him is not help to the NCAA, though. It’s help to the athletes.” States Continue Pushing NIL BillsWhile it seems imminent that a federal NIL bill will preempt the state NIL bills, state legislators have recognized the potential recruiting disadvantage their schools could be at if they don’t bring a bill to the table. Currently, there are only eleven states without a NIL bill somewhere in the legislative pipeline.Most recently, Mississippi passed their NIL bill and it is set to go into effect on July 1, 2021. Georgia’s bill is awaiting a signature from their governor to finalize it and Arizona is right there as well. Iowa’s NIL bill is likely to be passed soon and would also have an effective date …

  • NCAA vs Alston: A Quick Overview of the Alston CaseBy Michelle Meyer │March 30, 2021 History of the Case 2014: A former West Virginia football athlete, Shawne Alston, sued the …

  • NIL NETWORK INSIGHTRecap: Ohio State basketball athlete E.J. Liddell received a slew of derogatory direct messages on his social media accounts following OSU’s loss to Oral Roberts. And unfortunately, that …

  • Federal Name, Image, and Likeness Proposals The NCAA NIL proposal was tabled due to potential antitrust violations so various Senators and Representatives have developed Name, Image, and Likeness legislation to help …

As NIL grows rapidly and enters 2024 as a billion dollar industry, more brands are jumping in and reaping the benefits of college athletes promoting their products or services. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that only the biggest and most popular athletes can deliver campaign results. Here, College Athlete Influencers explores why that’s not the case and how brands can maximize their ROI through college athlete influencers.

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