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NIL is here, and the NCAA has made it clear that when it comes to enforcement, it’s up to the schools.


And while you are likely encouraging your student-athletes to exercise caution and patience when it comes to signing deals with third-party vendors, the truth is that Millennials and Gen-Z are distrustful of institutions and prone to instant gratification. In fact, many have or are already soliciting opportunities for partnerships on social mediaselling merchandise and even crafting their own logos. And while it may be tempting to enter into a bunker down mode and let this situation play out until Congress passes national legislation, it is incredibly important to keep open lines of communication with student-athletes through the summer and into the fall. Work with compliance to make sure you are educating them on what situations to avoid (i.e. scam efforts), establish best practices for growing/maintaining their brand, and be there for support if/when trouble occurs.

As for student-athletes entering the market, my advice would be to seek independent counsel that does not have ties to your school. Chances are that most schools and conferences will take a hands-off approach when it comes to NIL and brand-building counsel to avoid antitrust issues. Consult your family lawyer, a financial planner, or maybe even a high school mentor. Above all else, make sure you have the best advice before signing your name onto any agreement.


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