While college athletes are now free to sign sponsorship agreements and enjoy their name, image and likeness, there are still many rules they must follow in order to remain eligible to play for their respective schools. .
At least for now, the NCAA leaves it up to individual schools (and state laws, if applicable) to set name, image, and likeness guidelines for their athletes, and the Ohio State released its NIL guidelines for Buckeye athletes to the media on Thursday.
Below, we take a look at some of the noteworthy elements included in these guidelines, which can be read in full here:
All activities must be disclosed to the State of Ohio
According to the guidelines, all Ohio State athletes “must submit your proposed verbal or written NIL Agreement to Ohio State via Opendorse in advance” for any NIL activity for which they receive compensation, allowing the State of Ohio to review these proposed agreements for any potential conflict with academic agreements.
From the guidelines:
If there is a conflict:
Ohio State will notify you of the relevant contractual provision that is in conflict
You cannot enter into the proposed contract, but you can negotiate a revision of the proposed contract to avoid the conflict
You must submit the revised contract to the State of Ohio for review before embarking on the NIL business to ensure compliance with these guidelines and Ohio law.
Ohio State athletes will not be permitted to enter into NIL agreements that conflict with college sponsorships. Examples of such conflicts listed in the guidelines include agreements that would require athletes to “wear products competitive over Nike during team activities” or “promote competitive drinks over Coca-Cola on. the campus “.
“Failure to disclose an NIL activity in advance could affect eligibility,” state guidelines state, and athletes and businesses related to the activity, compensation, your verbal NIL agreement or written, etc.).
Athletes who fail to adhere to Ohio State’s NIL guidelines could be subject to “loss of privilege and other penalties, if any, including, but not limited to, verbal or written reprimand,” probation, loss of training privileges, loss of competition privileges, suspension or expulsion from the program. ”
No drugs, gambling or adult entertainment
Ohio State athletes will be prohibited from entering into NIL agreements with companies in the following industries:
Distilled alcohols (i.e. hard alcohol)
Tobacco products (including electronic smoking devices, vapor products, or products or devices that consist of or contain nicotine that can be ingested into the body)
Casinos or any entity that sponsors or promotes gambling activities
Marijuana products (including legalized or medical)
Medical marijuana grower, processor, laboratory or dispensary
Any business engaged in the sale, rental or display for any form of adult entertainment consideration which is characterized by the emphasis on the display or display of sexual activity
The Ohio State guidelines also state that the university “reserves the right to restrict other categories of businesses, brands, or similar types of contracts to the above industries (or other areas permitted by Ohio law) if the Ohio State provides this information to you. before you register with Ohio State or 30 days after the Ohio Executive Order goes into effect if you are currently registered.
NIL activities cannot conflict with team activities
While athletes will now be able to make appearances at events and be paid for them, they will only be allowed to do so in their spare time. Ohio State’s NIL guidelines state that its athletes “may not participate in any NIL activity while required to be present for training, scrum, or competition” and “may not participate in any NIL activity during the activities. team required, on or off campus, including, but not limited to, media, team trips, photo ops, community services and team building activities.
The guidelines also tell athletes that they “should understand that there may be consequences if you choose to miss a class or other academic requirement to participate in an NIL activity.”
Athletes must pay to use OSU facilities
Although athletes in the State of Ohio generally have access to facilities for their respective sports at all times, they will not be permitted to conduct NIL activities at these facilities unless they have received “l ‘express permission’ from Carey Hoyt, senior associate athletic director of the Ohio State Sports Administration. and student-athlete development, and pay the applicable rental rate for that facility.
These rental rates are not cheap. A half-day rental of the indoor court at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, for example, costs $ 2,500, while a full-day rental costs $ 4,500.
Rental fees will also be required to conduct NIL activities at non-sporting facilities on campus.
Athletes will not be permitted to conduct NIL activities in areas that are not commendable, such as locker rooms, athletic training areas, team meeting rooms and team lounges.
Use of the mark must be approved
In order to use the Ohio State trademarks, service marks, logos, symbols, or other intellectual property of the university during NIL activities, athletes will need to obtain written permission from the office. Ohio State Trademark and Licensing Services.
Athletes are permitted to use photos or videos containing trademarks, logos, service marks, symbols or any other intellectual property of the State of Ohio in building their personal brand on social media, but will need to receive written approval from the Trademark and Licensing Services Office – regardless of how the photo or video was obtained – to use those photos and videos in NIL activities. To use photos that include college markings such as uniforms, helmet bands, and Buckeye sheets, athletes will need to obtain these photos from the college or a college licensee at market price and with the permission of the copyright owner.
Participants in NIL activities are permitted to promote that they are athletes of the State of Ohio, but “may not imply, directly or indirectly, that the State of Ohio endorse your NIL activities or any product. or service associated with your NIL activities “.
Team clothing cannot be sold
Although Ohio State athletes can now sell their own personalized clothing – Teradja Mitchell and Zed Key are already among the Buckeyes who already do so – they will not be allowed to sell their equipment and team clothing (the examples listed include shoes, shirts, helmets, sticks / bat and warm-ups) until the end of their university career.
Coaches, staff cannot be involved
While Ohio State provides a variety of educational services to its athletes to help them maximize their NIL opportunities, Ohio State coaches and staff are not permitted to be involved in actual NIL athlete activities. any way ”. Ohio State coaches and staff may not organize, assist, promote, or contribute to athlete NIL activities, and athletes may not compensate Ohio State coaches or staff for help with NIL activities.
Athletes can hire agents for NIL representation only
Athletes are permitted to hire agents to help them organize NIL activities. These agents must be registered under Ohio law, unless the agent is an immediate family member of an athlete, and the agent must be remunerated at his regular rate; failure to do so could jeopardize an athlete’s eligibility for the NCAA.
College athletes will still not be allowed to hire agents for the purpose of pursuing a career in professional sports until the end of their college career.
International athletes should exercise caution
Ohio State’s NIL guidelines also include a two-page document that warns its international athletes that they may not be allowed to receive NIL compensation “without serious consequences.”
Since federal laws state that students who attend US universities on an F-1 visa can come to the United States “solely for the purpose” of furthering their education, there are strict limits to the income-generating opportunities available to them. can participate. athletes born who are not U.S. citizens, this means that participating in NIL activities in the United States could impact their ability to stay in America.
The State of Ohio is asking its international athletes not to receive compensation for sponsorship deals, event appearances, training at camps or signing autographs or starting their own business during their time in the United States, although the document states that athletes can participate in these activities when they are outside the United States as long as they comply with Ohio State and NCAA rules.