May 22, 2022

Volume XII, Number 142

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May 20, 2022

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NCAA Makes Next Play in Attempt to Limit Name, Image, and Likeness Activity

For the first time since the NCAA issued its Interim Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) Policy on July 1, 2021, the NCAA Board of Directors issued new guidance in an attempt to place some limits on the involvement of boosters in the rapidly growing NIL landscape.

The new guidance, issued on May 9, 2022, provides clarity on the limited role of boosters in the recruitment process of a prospective or enrolled student-athlete. The guidance defines a “booster” as an individual, independent agency, corporate entity, or other organization that promotes an institution’s intercollegiate athletics program, who assists with providing benefits to recruits, enrolled student-athletes, or their family members. The definition could also include “collectives,” which are set up to funnel NIL deals to prospective or enrolled student-athletes to encourage them to attend a certain university or leave their current university for another based upon an NIL deal.

Through this guidance, the NCAA is instructing universities that any entity or person who falls under the definition of a booster, including a collective, is not allowed to make NIL deals with prospective or enrolled student-athletes.

With the football and basketball off-season in full swing and the transfer portal rapidly growing, the NCAA believes this guidance helps to establish a common set of expectations for schools as they navigate the NIL world, while maintaining NCAA compliance.

In its directive, the NCAA also noted that the emphasis of the new guidance is on the boosters in the recruiting process and is not intended to question the eligibility of prospective and enrolled student-athletes involved in NIL deals. This seems to be the NCAA’s way of showing its continued support for student-athletes to be able to benefit from NIL deals, while limiting those who are involved in those deals.

Notably, the NCAA stated that while the guidance is effective immediately, the enforcement staff may review potential violations that occurred prior to May 9, 2022. The NCAA added, however, that it will only pursue those actions that are clearly contrary to the interim policy, including the most severe violations of recruiting rules or payment for athletics performance.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 133
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About this Author

Paul V. Kelly, Jackson Lewis, white collar criminal defense lawyer, internal investigations attorney
Principal

Paul V. Kelly is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, complex civil litigation and crisis management. Mr. Kelly is the firm’s White Collar and Government Enforcement Practice Group Leader. A former sports industry executive, he is also one of the firm’s Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group Leaders.

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Katherine B. Brezinski Associate Jacksonville Florida Attorney Policy Compliance Law Jackson Lewis PC
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Katherine B. Brezinski, an associate in the Jacksonville, Florida, office of Jackson Lewis P.C., is licensed to practice in federal and state courts in New York and Massachusetts as well as Florida. Katie leverages her multi-state knowledge of workplace law to provide her clients with preventive advice and counseling, tailored to where they do business. 

Katie conducts workplace investigations and trainings and assists in policy development. Working with clients on these matters, gives them daily access to Katie’s...

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