Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) of College Athletes
College sports, with huge television contracts for football and men’s basketball, merchandise sales and the like are big business. For years, sports fans and labor relations specialists have debated whether college athletes, whose labor has historically been rewarded only with a scholarship for tuition, room and board, deserve a piece of the pie insofar as their coaches are often being paid in the millions of dollars. Due to legal complexities, attempts to classify college athletes as employees or to organize them for union purposes have stalled.
The dam broke in 2021, when the NCAA for the first time ruled that college athletes would now be able to earn money from use of their Name, Image and Likeness (“NIL”). Very little guidance was provided. Athletes, universities, attorneys and agents are trying to make sense of the NIL landscape, but only have limited guidance from the NCAA and the laws governing NIL (to the extent that they exist) which vary by state. Our panel of experts will discuss how NIL presently works, how it is expected to evolve, and what it means for the effort to classify athletes as employees.
Adrienne Eaton – Dean, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations
Meet our panelists:
- Jason Belzer, CEO and Co-Founder – Student Athlete NIL (SANIL)
- Randi Larson, Asst. Director, Academic Services for Student Athletes – Rutgers University
- Jeffrey Poulard, Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance & DEI – Rutgers University
- Jonathan F. Cohen, Esq. – Plosia & Cohen Law Firm
- William Dwyer, Assistant Teaching Professor – Rutgers SMLR
- James Cooney, Associate Teaching Professor – Rutgers SMLR
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