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“A new day in college athletics” as NCAA OK’s NIL profiting

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 12:24 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - VCU Athletics Director Ed McLaughlin is one of many athletic department leaders preparing to navigate new waters. Wednesday evening saw the NCAA adopt a policy that will allow student-athletes in Divisions I, II and III to profit from their names, images and likenesses.

Athletes will be able to begin these practices on Thursday. This means they can take part in things such as endorsement deals, sponsorship agreements and personal appearances with no penalty from the NCAA.

According to the governing body of college sports, individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules. Athletes can also hire professionals for NIL activities.

McLaughlin thinks that Wednesday’s development is a positive one.

“If somebody can be a social media influencer and monetize that or write a children’s book or have some type of art or something like that, I think it’s a good thing,” the Rams’ athletic director said. “It definitely keeps us away from the model of being pro sports and keeps the collegiate model intact.”

McLaughlin noted that VCU has contracted with a third party provider to help educate student-athletes on the new guidelines. More compliance employees will be added to the staff as well.

“To me, the most important thing is how can we support them and teach them in the best way,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve got to remember that these aren’t 30 years olds and 40 year olds who are doing this. These are college kids doing it and we’ve got to make sure we educate them as much as possible.”

As for who will benefit from the new NIL policies, the level will vary.

“It’s not like every student-athlete is going to be making an extra $100,000 doing this,” pointed out McLaughlin. “There are some elite level athletes who are obviously going to make some money on this, but between balancing school work and practice and study hall and weights and all of that, it’s not like student-athletes are going to have a huge amount of time to be doing this.”

“It’s not a guarantee that everyone who plays a revenue sport across the NCAA is going to be making a ton of money.”

The NCAA says that the current policy is temporary and will remain in place until federal legislation or new NCAA rules are adopted.

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