College-Athletes will be able to be paid for their name, image, and likeness

LONG BEACH – Starting in the 2021-2022 academic school year, college athletes will be able to be endorsed and paid for their name, image, and likeness. 

This rule change has been discussed widely over the recent years and has come after the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA – whose board of directors is run by college presidents – made the temporary decision in June. Since the founding of the NCAA in 1906, college-athletes athletes were unable to collect any form of endorsement or have a job that could benefit from their image or status. So for college-athletes like Nicole Hoff, a California State University Long Beach volleyball player, this is a big change.

“One big change with it is social media sponsorships and stuff like that,” said Hoff. “A bunch of companies has reached out to me to where I could kind of become an ambassador for them, and they would send me free clothing, or free products just to like have me post pictures in them and I can make a commission off it by bringing more people to their company.”

Hoff continues by saying that with the rule change, she (and other athletes) will be able to use platforms like TikTok if monetized to make some more money if videos become popular, or when going live on social media platforms.

Though because it is still early, the NCAA acknowledges that this change is temporary until the name, image, and likeness rules are fully adopted or federal legislation is instilled. They’re also distinguishing the differences between college athletes and professional athletes. They also make it clear that:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities may be a resource for state law questions.
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

It also makes it clear that college-athletes still won’t be allowed to accept money for playing in games, how long they play in games, or how they do in games; and colleges aren’t allowed to influence players to stay with incentives.

“You can start earning money just like how regular students could with trying, to like, make their own brand; make their own t-shirts. If students want to, athletes can do that too and start making money off it,” said Hoff.

Roger Kirk, Assistant Athletic Director and Athletic Communications Director for CSULB, said that the rule and its regulations are still being sorted; are in a grey area. 

Though one of the things he knows is that CSULB isn’t involved in promoting endorsements, however, college-athletes will have more freedom when it comes to seeking out jobs, creating their own businesses, or having endorsement opportunities.

“A really good example of how this will change and who it’s going to affect in a positive way was the gymnast who won the all-around gold . . . Suni Lee. Yeah so basically that’s one of the premier gold medals of the games, huge endorsement opportunities; Wheaties boxes, the whole deal. Before this rule was in effect, if she wanted to compete in gymnastics at Auburn, she would have had to turn down those endorsements.”

Kirk goes on to say that this rule change will allow college-athletes the ability and opportunity to further succeed in their personal endeavors, like starting their own company or selling their music, just as non-student-athletes would be able to.

“We had a women’s basketball player who was also a musician, and has made a career out of it and is really pretty successful; she’s super talented. But while she was here, as a student-athlete playing women’s basketball, she would not have been able to release a cd with her music in the past,” So that would have been considered an improper benefit in the idea that she was using her status as a women’s basketball player to sell more music.”

By Jess Gutierrez