Prior to Monday’s ceremonial signing of the NIL Law for South Carolina, Clemson owns an NCAA book of rules, which athletic director Dan Radakovich described as 500 pages long.
In the months to come, the NCAA’s rule book is probably going to get bigger.
Though the ability of student-athletes to get paid for their name, image and likeness is a big victory in the growing business world for collegiate athletics, it also means the door opened wider for those who like to cut corners to help their favorite school win.
“Could there be unscrupulous people? Absolutely,” Radakovich said. “But we are going to manage that the same way we do the current rules right now.
“Student-athletes also have the ability to have marketing representation. And there are good marketing representatives and there are some bad ones. So, part of our education will be to help them be able to understand the difference between the two.”
How is Clemson educating its student-athletes on these matters so they can recognize who has their best interest at heart and who is just trying to make some money?
“We are preparing the education, understanding the representation piece, financial literacy, understanding that now you are going to have to take these earnings and put them into a bucket,” Radakovich said. “You are going to have to pay taxes on it, which is different than your scholarship, which is non-taxable. So, understanding how to deal with that and how to segment that. How to deal with time.
“Right now, student-athletes go to school, they work their sport, and they have a social life. Well, now there is going to be another time element pulled in.”
One way Clemson will do that is through the help of a third party. Radakovich announced Clemson Athletics is working with an athlete marketing firm for name, image and likeness solutions called Opendorse.
“Opendorse is a content company that comes out and helps student athletes take the pictures, video and the content that we do, pull it all together and allow them to push it out in a very efficient manner on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts,” Radakovich said. “But they also do a lot of education because this is going to be new revenue, new wages, for a lack of a better term, for our student athletes. They are going to have pay taxes. It is very different than a scholarship.
“So Opendorse is also a company that helps us provide, not only through our own compliance staff, but through their company educational modules to allow our student-athletes to know and understand every part of what NIL is.”