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JMU Athletics releases policy on Name, Image, and Likeness

JMU merchandise found at the University Outpost Bookstore.
JMU merchandise found at the University Outpost Bookstore.(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The NCAA Board of Directors adopted a new policy Wednesday in regards to allowing student-athletes to get paid to use their name, image, or likeness (NIL).

Under the new interim NIL policy, regulation defers to state, conference and institutional policies to guide acceptable NIL practices. The NCAA’s updated policy maintains key prohibitions on any form of pay-for-play arrangements or improper recruiting inducements.

This means students will not be able to receive payment in exchange for playing sports at a certain school.

The ultimate goal of the new NIL framework is to provide a more permissive environment for student-athletes to benefit from the exposure related to their intercollegiate experience.

James Madison University has developed an institutional policy to guide NIL activities within its intercollegiate athletics program.

This policy governs all student-athlete NIL pursuits until any future conference, state, federal, or NCAA guidance further impacts campus policy.

Over at JMU, staff have been and will continue to educate student-athletes on what NIL means and best practices. Student-athletes will be able to submit requests through an online portal; what businesses they are working with and how much money they expect to make.

Kevin Warner with JMU Athletics says the request would then be approved by the compliance office.

“So our policy lays out some examples you could sell apparel with your name or picture on it, you could have public appearances, you could sell autographs, you can enter into an agreement with a business to represent them,” Warner said.

Student-athletes may also appear in JMU-issued branded apparel as part of NIL activities.

Warner says student-athletes can even hire talent agents to help in finding businesses to work with.

“They can hire business advisors and they can seek professional services but they cannot hire a sports agent,” Warner said. “Someone who is going to help them find places to play.”

Warner says as of Thursday afternoon they have not yet received a NIL request from a student-athlete, but they have seen interest from some athletes.

“Over the course of my career in intercollegiate athletics, I cannot recall many game-changing circumstances similar to this NCAA change in approach to name, image, and likeness,” JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said in a press release. “This will require growth and adjustment over time as we live in this new environment, but we are committed to that process and providing an appropriate framework for NIL activities on our campus. At the end of the day, this new era of college athletics is what’s right for the student-athletes and their intercollegiate experience.”

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