Prepared by Cislo & Thomas LLP Attorney Travers Morgan, Esq..
Takeaway: Student-athletes will soon be able to profit based on their name and likeness rights through opportunities such as endorsement deals and sponsorships.
The NCAA has officially voted to allow college athletes to profit from their name and likeness rights. Part of the vote was a decision to assure that all student-athletes have the same opportunities to make money based on these rights. This decision has come in light of several states, including California, proposing laws that allow students to profit off of their name and likeness rights.
The NCAA has made this decision partially because they do not want fragmented profitability rights throughout the country that allow schools in some states to have a competitive advantage over others. The NCAA would like to propose changes to federal tax laws that allow for uniform profitability laws throughout the country so all student-athletes and schools have the same rights and advantages. The hope is this will prevent schools from being able to recruit athletes more easily because their state allows profitability when a school in a neighboring state cannot offer such benefits.
This appears to be a first step by the NCAA toward student-athletes being able to profit through opportunities such as sponsorships and endorsement deals. Next, we will see how congress deals with this decision and see how much oversight the NCAA will have over regulating such laws.