Takeaways from the NCAA's New NIL Guidelines

Takeaways from the NCAA's New NIL Guidelines

On Monday the Division I Board of Directors issued guidance to schools regarding the intersection between recruiting activities and the name, image and likeness environment. 

This was one of the more anticipated NCAA announcements in the 10 months since NIL came to fruition as schools, athletes, coaches, boosters and other entities in the NIL spectrum waited for updates.

The guidance was focused on how NIL was being used to recruit athletes. 

Since football season ended, collectives have popped up all over the country at schools. These collectives, largely made up of boosters, pool together financial resources that can then be passed on to collegiate athletes in repayment for a variety of services.

Many, however, have argued that Collectives are acting as a vessel to skirt “pay for play” rules.

There are also individual supporters, like John Ruiz, CEO of MSP Recovery, who announced on twitter that he had signed Nijel Pack to a 2-year, $800,000 deal with LifeWallet after Pack committed to transferring to Miami men’s basketball.

Great for Nijel Pack!

But shortly after, Miami’s Isaiah Wong, who led the program to its first Elite Eight in history, declared he would enter the transfer portal if his NIL compensation wasn’t increased.

It can be deduced that Wong saw Pack’s deal - which Ruiz conveniently announced to the world - and wanted his piece of the pie. Can you blame him?

NCAA’s Updated Guidelines Announced

So what were the main takeaways from the new guidelines that the NCAA announced?

For one, the NCAA remained in full support of student-athletes benefiting from their NIL - that isn’t changing.

Second, the NCAA reiterated its stance on recruiting rules that preclude boosters from recruiting and/or providing benefits to prospective student-athletes. 

Boosters can include “collectives” which are set up to funnel NIL deals to prospective student-athletes or enrolled student-athletes who are considering transferring.

What does the new guidance mean?

According to the NCAA, violations that occurred prior to May 9, 2022 will be reviewed on an individual case basis, but will only be pursued if they are clearly contrary to the published interim policy.

The NCAA also noted that the emphasis on the new NIL guidance is on boosters and not intended to question the eligibility of enrolled student-athletes. Only the most serious actions that clearly violate interim policy would have eligibility implications.

So where does that leave us?

Well, as we said at the top, this was one of the more anticipated announcements from the NCAA as it related to the NIL.

It can be argued that athletic departments across the country were desperately hoping for clear guidelines to help save them from their peers, and just as importantly, themselves.

The world of college athletics is a dog eat dog world. If a few schools are pushing the boundaries on rules, then everyone else feels like they have to follow suit in order to remain competitive.

At the end of the day, however, there wasn’t much new information.

The NCAA announced it would retroactively be punishing the most egregious violations and encouraged athletics departments to continue to self-report any violations it comes across.

In fact, the aforementioned Ruiz has already stated “it’s business as usual” to CBS Sports. Said Ruiz in the article: "The term booster is irrelevant in my view because, if you have a legitimate business, it doesn't matter if you are a booster or not. The deal is an arms-length transaction."

So that’s where we stand in the world of NIL as of May 9.

The good news for our NIL Store and Campus Ink family is that nothing changes for us. 

We’ll continue to work with our athletes to develop incredible merchandise to help them build their personal brands and make money!