The world is changing rapidly for collegiate student-athletes. If you had asked this same question at any time prior to July 1, 2021, the answer would have been no. Until July 1, 2021, a sponsorship would have jeopardized your NCAA eligibility, but now the rules have changed. Student-athletes may enter into sponsorship agreements and continue to compete. If you or your loved one signed a deal and is being suspended or banned from their team/school, our experienced NCAA lawyer can help protect your rights.

NCAA lawyer for sponsored student-athletes

College Athletes Can Be Sponsored

On June 30, 2021, the NCAA issued an interim NIL (name, image, likeness) policy for all NCAA student-athletes. According to the new NCAA rules, Division I, Division II, and Division III athletes may receive compensation in exchange for licensing of their name, image, and likeness. Therefore, student-athletes may enter into sponsorship agreements that include payment for promoting products or services by:

  • Providing autographs
  • Wearing branded clothing or accessories
  • Making personal appearances
  • Appearing in ads
  • Monetizing social media
  • Conducting other profit-generating activities

According to our NCAA lawyer, athletes must comply with governing state NIL laws and governing conference and university rules, in addition to NCAA rules. At least 27 states have approved NIL laws that impact athlete sponsorship agreements.

The state NIL laws going into effect during 2021 are:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Connecticut  
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

In 2022 and 2023, the following states’ NIL laws are scheduled to go into effect:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina 
  • Tennessee    

New Jersey is slated to join the list in 2025, and at least four other states (Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, and Rhode Island) have legislation pending. 

Additionally, at the federal level, several pending bills have been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would uniformly govern NIL rights for NCAA student-athletes throughout the country. Many colleges and universities support the passage of federal legislation to bring more clarity to a fast-changing area.

Student-athletes from all over the country have already entered into NIL sponsorship agreements since the NCAA interim rules went into effect on July 1, 2021. According to our NCAA lawyer, these college athletes remain eligible to compete during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Our Experienced NCAA Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights in This Fast-Changing Legal Landscape

An experienced NCAA lawyer can guide student-athletes to ensure that their eligibility to compete is preserved:

  • Scholarships and ability to compete in college sports
  • Future athletic careers
  • Brand and reputation

If you are an NCAA student-athlete interested in pursuing a sponsorship agreement, we encourage you to contact our NCAA lawyer today. It is important to be aware of the laws and rules that govern your specific situation.

It is an exciting time to be a student-athlete, but it is also a time to be careful to ensure that your future is protected.

Are You an NCAA Athlete Considering a Sponsorship Opportunity? 

If you're an athlete and are considering a sponsorship, you need to speak with an experienced sports attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call us directly at +1-207-747-5899 to schedule your free consultation. Our firm is devoted to the very specific practice of sports law and has represented student-athletes from all corners of the United States. Our NCAA lawyer is a dedicated advocate for athletes and works diligently to protect your athletic career and education. Don't hesitate. Contact us today.

Paul Greene
Recognized as one of the world’s leading sports lawyers and a well-known speaker and author.