On October 7, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics made history when it became the first collegiate sports organization to pass reform allowing college athletes to earn compensation for use of their names, images, and likenesses (NILs). The NCAA has been resisting such reform for decades, and leaves many questions for college athletes, parents, and others moving forward. Here are three big ones:
1.) What does this legislation mean for NCAA athletes?
In a word, nothing. The NAIA is a completely separate governing body than the NCAA, so NAIA rules don’t apply to NCAA athletes. However, the NAIA’s new framework certainly challenges many of the NCAA’s arguments against NIL reform, including Title IX implications, the erosion of amateur sports, and questions of fair market value. Since the NAIA has released its refreshingly simple set of NIL guidelines, it will become increasingly hard for the NCAA to argue against NIL reform (but I still anticipate a fight from the NCAA moving forward).
2.) Why did the NAIA choose to act now?
The NAIA has been working toward NIL reform since March 2019, and actually allows athletes to receive financial assistance from friends, family, and boosters. The push for NIL reform comes in part from pressure from state bills, as the NAIA recognizes that NIL rights have become a movement and wants athletes who attend institutions in states that are passing NIL laws to be eligible to compete (and according to its website, the NAIA views NIL reform as a way to demonstrate that the NAIA prioritizes its athletes). Instead of fighting change, the NAIA decided to work with it, which is good—the state of Florida is passing a NIL law that goes into effect in June 2021, so the clock is ticking on NIL reform within the NCAA.
3.) What do the new rules say?
Thankfully, the modifications are concise enough to fit on a web page. The NAIA provides all of its new rules on its website along with a list of NIL scenarios athletes may face. In short, the NAIA is letting the free market work—athletes are allowed to use their NILs to promote products, become influencers, and host training camps, among other commercial activities. The reform is broader than many NCAA proposals because college athletes are also allowed to reference their universities in NIL deals.
The NAIA admits on its website that there’s no easy solution to crafting NIL rules. But one thing is clear: the NCAA is running out of excuses to delay a massive overhaul of its current NIL policies.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.