Everything You Need To Know About NIL

Last Updated: Jun 28th 2022   Published: May 20th 2022   2 Min Read
Everything You Need To Know About NIL
Image © Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

College sports are currently undergoing what may prove to be the single most significant change they will ever experience. It all originated from the simple question of whether college athletes should be paid? The answer came down to three letters: NIL.

In the simplest of terms, Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is a term that describes the commodity through which college athletes are allowed to receive financial compensation. NIL refers to the use of an athlete’s name, image, and likeness through marketing and branding exercises. This can include autograph signings, product endorsements, social media posts, and more. At this point placing a bet on your favorite college team at Ohio Online Casinos should be a no-brainer.

At the same time, it’s essential to understand what NIL does not mean. The NCAA rules still prevent schools from paying players directly. This means that college coaches cannot offer money as an incentive for high school athletes to play for their program, nor can athletes receive compensation directly from their university based upon their athletic achievements. This is due to the fact that the NCAA still intends to maintain its amateur sports status, and paying athletes for their play on the field would nullify that. However, NIL is the workaround for athletes to get paid without technically being considered professional athletes who make a living playing their sport.

NIL goes all the way back to a class-action lawsuit filed in the late 2000s that marked the beginning of the “should college athletes be paid” debate. Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon argued that college athletes should be compensated for the use of their name and image in video games.

The judge’s resolution ordered the NCAA to pay $44.4 million in attorneys’ fees and another $1.5 million in costs to lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon class-action antitrust lawsuit. This case opened up the doors for more questions and lawsuits around athletes’ name, image, and likeness.

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