NIL policies and the MAC

As of Thursday, July 1, college athletes have been able to start making some money off their names, images, and likenesses. Amateurism isn’t dead for it, schools aren’t directly paying athletes for their work. But if you wanted a player to use their social platforms to promote your company with a simple tweet or post, the door is certainly available for that type of behavior.

Nobody’s posing for Gatorade or Wheaties just yet (and Wheaties, if you’re reading this: you better feature somebody on your cereal boxes!) and not everybody has promotional deals/other cash grabs lined up just because it’s July 2. But still, there are some updates worth hitting on to see what kind of world MAC football players now live in.

MAC sports NIL partnerships, school policies

Here’s where all 12 full-member MAC schools currently stand as everybody’s still trying to navigate through the new NIL-friendly world of college sports:

SchoolPartnered withSchool policy
Akron
Ball StateSchool passed NIL policy on 7/1/21
Bowling GreenJeremy Darlow, Opendorse
BuffaloINFLCR
Central MichiganCMU announced NIL police (C.O.R.E. Program) on 3/31/21
Eastern MichiganJeremy Darlow, Opendorse
Kent State
MiamiJeremy Darlow, Opendorse
Northern IllinoisCOMPASS (developed by CLC, provided by Game Plan)
OhioINFLCR
ToledoJeremy Darlow, Opendorse
Western MichiganOpendorse

NIL legislature, policy

National level

NCAA

  • 6/21/21 – The Supreme Court unanimously decided against the NCAA in the NCAA v. Alston case, and that the NCAA should not be able to prevent college athletes from accepting third-party gifts and benefits for their names, images, and likenesses (NIL).
  • 6/30/21 – NCAA adopts a NIL policy (that defers to state laws or school policies) for college athletes to finally profit from NIL activities. Read the release here.
    • Athletes can hire agents or lawyers to help them make decisions regarding NIL.

State level

Illinois

MAC schools: Northern Illinois

  • 6/29/21 – IL Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a bill (SB 2338) for in-state college athletes to profit via NIL. The bill went into effect on Thursday, NIL Day, at 12:01 a.m.

Indiana

MAC schools: Ball State

  • 7/1/21 – Without a state law to defer to, AD Beth Goetz and Ball State published a school policy (the Ball YOU program) to prepare its student-athletes for the NIL era. This is intended to work as some foundational framework to at least get the school’s athletes ready for the NIL era, and will certainly be updated as everybody learns more about the landscape (and as state politicians do their thing). Read the current policy here.
    • BSU athletes must receive written permission to partake in NIL activities from the compliance office.
    • BSU athletes may hire individual agents/lawyers to represent them for NIL issues “and not for future professional athletic contract negotiations.”

Michigan

MAC schools: Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan

  • 12/30/20 – MI Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed bills (H.B. 5217 and H.B. 5218) for in-state college athletes to profit via NIL. The bill will go into effect Dec. 31, 2022. Michigan became the sixth state (first in MAC country) for NIL-friendly bills to be signed at the state level. Others: California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey.

New York

MAC schools: Buffalo

  • Senate bill introduced (S6722B) to allow in-state college athletes to profit via NIL, and seek professional representation while doing so. As written, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
    • Also from the bill’s summary: “requires colleges to establish a sports injury health savings account to provide compensation to athletes for career ending or long-term injuries; requires colleges to establish a wage fund to be paid out to all student-athletes attending the college; requires colleges to take fifteen percent of revenue earned from athletics ticket sales and divide such revenue among student-athletes; establishes the community college athlete (NIL) working group.”

Ohio

MAC schools: Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami, Ohio, Toledo

  • 6/28/21 – OH Gov. Mike DeWine used an executive order for in-state college athletes to profit via NIL (SB 187). DeWine is the second governor to use executive order powers to make this happen in their state (first: KY Gov. Andy Beshear). The bill went into effect on July 1, as originally written.
    • There was an attempt by Ohio Rep. Jena Powell (R), a real-life scumbag, to make an amendment to the original bill, which had already passed the House, to ban transgender persons who identify as female to participate in women’s teams in both high school and college.

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