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NCAA votes to adopt interim name, image and likeness policy

Student-athletes granted right to profit from name, image and likeness

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On Wednesday, the NCAA voted to adopt an interim name, image and likeness (NIL) policy for college athletes across the country, overriding previous regulations that prohibited NCAA participants from profiting off those three areas via sponsorships or endorsements. The policy will go into effect on Thursday, July 1, and applies to all three divisions of NCAA athletics.

“With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in the official press release on Wednesday afternoon. “The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

The statement indicates a lack of concrete policy, instead leaving athletes largely at the hands of NIL policy in their respective states — but it is nonetheless a huge step toward allowing student-athletes to benefit monetarily from their personal image.

The interim policy allows student-athletes to engage in NIL activities so long as they abide by their school’s state laws. All student-athletes will need to report NIL activities to their respective schools. 

Although the policy allows student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, it was made clear that the NCAA will preserve their commitment to avoiding pay-for-play situations or inducements tied to choosing to attend a particular school.

The policy also allows schools to adopt their own additional policies surrounding student-athlete NIL. The full article, as well as educational information, can be found here.

“We are working with conference and NCAA personnel to fully understand the nuances of the recent Name, Image and Likeness developments and how they relate to us at Stanford,” Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso wrote in an email to The Daily on Wednesday.

Following the announcement from the NCAA, Stanford announced the launch of a new campus program, Cardinal Connect, designed to aid students in benefiting from their NIL. The program will be designed to help students navigate NIL agreements while remaining in compliance with NIL regulations. Cardinal Connect will also work to educate students on NIL topics such as social media, contracts and personal finances.

Given Stanford’s platform as one of the best universities in the world for both athletics and academics, the Cardinal Connect program appears to provide student-athletes with opportunities to earn from their labor through their NIL. Even so, it does not appear that Cardinal Connect will be limited to student-athletes.

“Many of the offerings of the Cardinal Connect program will be available to the entire student population, while some offerings will be customized to student-athletes,” the announcement reads.

The details have yet to be fully disclosed, but the platform could be the starting point for a new era of personal marketing and image benefits.

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Jenna Ruzekowicz is a staff writer in the sports section. She is a sophomore from Syracuse, New York majoring in Computer Science. Her teams include: Portland Thorns, Arsenal and Man City. Contact her at jruzekowicz 'at' stanforddaily.com.