I am often asked about our member athletics director’s position regarding student-athlete name, image, and likeness (NIL) compensation. Based on discussions at our recent annual meeting, it was clear that the majority of our athletics directors support student-athlete NIL compensation, but with appropriate guardrails within the collegiate model.
In fact, there is not much distance between our current athletics directors and the general public’s position. For example, a recent survey from Seton Hall’s sports polling department found that 60 percent of Americans were in favor of student-athletes being compensated for use of their NILs. The main difference between the views of the general public and our athletics directors is centered upon our athletics directors primary concern in establishing the regulatory framework to prevent potential recruiting abuses, where NIL deals would be given to student-athletes, not based on market value, but rather, recruiting promises.
So the question for many of our athletics directors is not whether student-athletes should earn NIL compensation, but rather, ensuring that student-athletes and their athletics programs have as much of a level playing field as possible to keep college sports competitive.