Recap: Keith Carter, athletic director of Ole Miss, discusses a few of his concerns about the impending NIL legislation. He thinks that this change will create new challenges over the next 5-10 years as the “unknowns and variables” bring themselves to light. Carter’s main concern is how the new rules would affect the annual sponsors of an athletic department and what would incentivize them to not go directly to the athlete(s).
Observations: Carter is warranted in his concern over an athletic department’s sponsors. There may be a huge opportunity for sponsors to work directly with the athletes and get the same ROI for a much cheaper price tag. Where the sponsorship money now is allocated across many programs throughout the department, in the future, it may land directly into one athlete’s pocket. Athletic departments may have to get creative and innovative with their agreement offerings to keep their sponsors.
Athlete Tips & Takeaways:
An additional point of Carter’s is that although most discussion surrounds the star athletes of big D1 programs, there will be opportunities for niche sport athletes. He brings up the concept of the “hometown hero”; meaning that while an athlete may be a small fish NOW in their program, they were likely a big fish in their hometown. What connections do you have to businesses in your hometown? This could be restaurants, local shops, or potentially even your club!
The issue of college athletes profiting from their name, image and likeness is on hold after the NCAA took the United States Department of Justice’s advice last week and delayed a vote. It is, however, certainly not going away. The Justice Department’s concerns arose from antitrust issues with the proposal. The NCAA also delayed a vote on proposed new transfer rules for Division I college athletes. As of now, it is unsure when another vote will be held on those issues by the NCAA Division I Council.
No matter the delay, it is widely thought that the issue of athletes being able to profit of off their own name, image and likeness will come to pass in the very near future. This legislation, when passed, will allow athletes to accept endorsements and sponsorship deals for cash or in-kind gains which are forbidden by current NCAA rules. States such as Florida and California have already passed legislation that allows athletes to hold full title to their own name, image and likeness set to take hold this summer, regardless of NCAA rules.
One concern, not discussed very often, is how the proposed legislation would affect athletic departments’ advertising and marketing efforts. Under this proposed legislation, it appears commercial advertisers could dodge the university’s marketing departments and go straight to the athletes, perhaps at a discounted cost. The one-time, free-transfer proposal would create a new era in roster management for all Division I sports teams.
Ole Miss vice-chancellor for intercollegiate athletics Keith Carter recently spoke to the Spirit about such concerns.
“Those were discussed this week at the D-I Council and they were tabled,” Carter began. “That was something that we kind of anticipated might happen after the Department of Justice and all the variables that are surrounding it. To me those are two items that, if COVID was not a factor and we were not in a COVID year, those two items would just be inundating all of the media outlets. The one-time transfer is certainly going to change the dynamic of roster management and what all of that looks like. You’re going to have to re-recruit your own team every single year. That’s going to be a big one.
“The NIL, to me, is something that is going to change the landscape of college athletics maybe like anything in the last 40 or 50 years. I think it is going to totally shift the way we do things, depending on which route we go. It’s going to be very interesting…It’s daunting…some of the challenges that we’re going to face over the next five or 10 years, for sure.”