NCAA one step closer to passing NIL legislation

BYU and Utah both already have programs in place to help their student-athletes navigate the possible name, image and likeness rules.

(Darron Cummings | AP) The NCAA took another step toward passing name, image and likeness (NIL) rules that will allow college athletes to prosper off their personas.

The NCAA took its first step towards accepting Name, Image and Likeness policy.

On Monday, the Division I Council recommended the Division I Board of Directors adopt an interim policy, suspending amateurism rules related to NIL. The board is set to meet Wednesday.

If the policy is adopted by the board, it would allow student-athletes to engage in NIL activities consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. For those student-athletes who attend a school in a state without a NIL law in place, they can still engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to NIL.

College athletes can also use a professional services provider for NIL activities and should any NIL activities to their school.

The governance committees in Division II and III are also expected to vote on the interim NIL policy by Wednesday.

Earlier this month, both BYU and Utah released their NIL plans in anticipation of the NCAA legislation.

While the state of Utah doesn’t have legislation in place or on deck in regards to an NIL bill, the state’s two biggest, highest-profile athletic departments wanted to be ready.

At the University of Utah, in consultation with the David Eccles School of Business and the on-campus Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the athletic department introduced Elevate U.

Elevate U, which is being built upon the already-established Ute Academy student-athlete development program, is placing a heavy emphasis on teaching how NIL works, and how to go about it in a responsible manner.

Down in Provo, BYU has Built4Life — a career development program for its student-athletes meant to help them prepare for life after college sports, and help them capitalize on future NIL opportunities.

The Built4Life network includes the founding partners of the Salt Lake Chamber, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Slopes, and is overseen by Gary Vernon in an associate athletic director role.

BYU’s program was announced during football’s media day. During the annual event, coach Kalani Sitake said he wanted to be proactive about the situation and have this program in place because of the many different directions the NIL legislature could go.

“This is something that’s going to be in place even if NIL doesn’t work out, even if they take it away,” Sitake said. “This is something we can still do to help educate our players. That, in combination with the economic status of the state, especially along the Wasatch Front and in this valley — we’re No. 1 in the country, so why not partner with the big leagues and the guys who are No. 1 in the country and allow to help our players and our student-athletes. It just makes a lot of sense and I think this is the right time to do it, and anticipating what’s going to happen with the NIL through NCAA and legislation and things like that.”

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