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NCAA approves name, image, and likeness interim policy for athletes starting July 1

Things are about to get interesting.

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship Photo by Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Starting July 1, all athletes under the NCAA umbrella (Division I-III) are allowed to receive benefits based off of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The NCAA has adopted an interim policy, and schools will primarily be responsible for ensuring their athletes follow either the overall guidelines or those within states that have already passed legislation.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in the NCAA’s official press release. “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. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

Here is the interim policy outlined by the NCAA for schools to follow:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.
  • 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.

Some student athletes have already lined up sponsored events — like Iowa Basketball’s Jordan Bohannon — to take place starting Thursday.

Virginia doesn’t have a law passed yet regarding NIL, but a bill was introduced with a date of July 1, 2024. This means the Cavaliers will be able to do sponsorships, appearances, and endorsements without risk of losing eligibility as long as it falls under school and NCAA guidance. Things are going to be confusing and a bit like the Wild West as things get underway quickly, but stay tuned for more information on what this means as we move forward.