According to a landmark case unanimously decided by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on June 21, 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) may no longer prohibit student-athletes from earning money by their name, image and likeness (NIL) for endorsement or marketing opportunities.
This verdict effectively means that student-athletes can now monetize their popularity by selling the rights to use their portrait, caricature, or name on products, in advertisements, for sponsorships, or other licensing opportunities.
Prior to this decision, college athletes were limited to a scholarship or stipend due to the NCAA’s “principle of amateurism” which required that their sport be pursued for the “love of the fame”, despite college sports being a multibillion-dollar industry generating over $19 billion per year.
As time is moving forward, more and more states are enacting NIL legislation, allowing student-athletes to earn money through outside opportunities.
There are pros and cons to NIL activity. While the benefits of NIL exceed the drawbacks, students and their families should be aware that cash generated may limit future financial assistance packages available to student-athletes. T
hey will also be required to disclose and pay state and federal income taxes on NIL activities. Most importantly, students must avoid neglecting academics by allowing NIL activities to interfere with the time they devote to their studies.
On the plus side, students can gain important financial literacy skills such as business management, budgeting, marketing, and brand building.
Furthermore, it may enhance the college graduation rate of student-athletes who were previously incentivized to sign lucrative contracts with professional sports teams before graduating from college.
Most international student-athletes have F-1 international student status, which their colleges or universities provide.
This means that the school is responsible for the student-immigration athlete’s compliance and has the authority to revoke the international student’s F-1 visa if the student-athlete violates F-1 requirements. Working outside U.S.
work authorization of permissible activities is a status violation that necessitates the termination of the student’s F-1 visa status by the school’s Designated School Officials (DSOs). International college-athlete stars such as Oscar Tshiebwe were unable to earn money while inside the U.S.
Mr. Tshiebwe is a Congolese college basketball player for the Kentucky Wildcats who is on an F-1 student visa in the U.S.
However, Mr. Tshiebwe was able to lawfully earn approximately $500,000 in 7 days from autographs, ads, and other promos while briefly outside of the U.S.
Overall, the NIL is a major victory for student-athletes because it allows them to earn money for their talents.
However, student-athletes on student visas should be careful when determining when and where they are able to earn for their NIL.
What do you think about NIL? Let us know in the comments!