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NFLPA And NCPA Explore Marketing And Licensing Of College Athletes

The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and National College Players Association (NCPA) announced a collaborative effort to explore how college athletes can receive proper compensation for use of their name, image, and likeness.

The Fair Pay to Play Act was recently passed in California to allow college athletes to compensate off of their own name, image, and likeness. The bill, which was co-sponsored by the NCPA will not go into effect until 2023.

Other states have followed in California’s footsteps and are proceeding to enact legislation. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis endorsed the “Student-Athlete Achievement Act” which also aims to allow student-athletes in Florida to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. The Florida bill, which was co-written by Florida Representative Chip LaMarca and SportsAgentBlog founder, Darren Heitner, would go into effect July 1, 2020, if passed.

The NCAA has felt the pressure to update its policies to allow student-athletes from all universities to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. While state law-makers enact their own legislation, and the NFLPA and NCPA take steps to explore opportunities for merchandise, gaming, and other officially licensed products, the NCAA is playing catch-up.

While the NCAA looks poised to allow student-athletes to make money off their name, image, and likeness, the speculative new bylaws seem to be strictly construed. According to Ralph Russo of the Associated Press, “the NCAA would like to draw a line between allowing athletes access to money-making opportunities that have well-defined market value and those where payments could be arbitrary and used in lieu of improper recruiting inducements . . . . Such a stance would mean prohibiting an athlete from cutting a deal with a local business to appear in a commercial, for example, but letting athletes take advantage of opportunities to monetize their social media followings.”

The entire press release from the NFLPA and NCPA can be seen here.

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By Josh Goldberg

Josh is a recent graduate of Florida International University's College of Law. He works at a law firm with the Franchise Law, Innovation & Technology, and Sports & Entertainment Law groups. He is the founder of Light Social Digital Media & Marketing - a content creation and branding agency for athletes.

Email: [email protected] | Twitter/Instagram: @IAmJoshGoldberg