The NCAA has had a rule for a long time that basically said student athletes could not profit off their name, image and likeness, and if they did that then they were ineligible to play.
That rule officially came to an end Wednesday, as the NCAA Division I council passed a ruling that will provide temporary bylaws, allowing student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness without hurting their eligibility beginning on Thursday.
What does this mean for Clemson student-athletes such as football’s D.J. Uiagalelei and softball’s Valerie Cagle?
“Clemson student-athletes will no longer be deemed ineligible by the NCAA, which goes into effect tomorrow,” said Jeff Kallin, the spokesperson for the Clemson Athletic Department. “Any student-athlete will be able to participate.”
On June 14, Clemson hosted a ceremonial signing, passing the NIL law for the state of South Carolina. The South Carolina is not supposed to go into effect until July 1, 2022, but that could change now that the NCAA has passed its temporary bylaws.
“The last line (in the law) does give the Attorney General the ability to enact it sooner than July 1, 2022, should the governing body pass some kind of similar legislation,” Kallin said. “The Attorney General of South Carolina could determine that this NCAA policy change is enough to enact the South Carolina law tomorrow. We do not know that, yet. That is up to the Attorney General. But the Attorney General has the ability to enact the South Carolina law whenever there is a policy that is enacted that would provide that opportunity.”
To clarify, the state law came about largely as a way to put pressure on the NCAA. Like other states, South Carolina’s law was set so it could say the NCAA could not rule South Carolina student-athletes ineligible for profiting off their name, image and likeness.
To set the record straight, it has never been illegal, from a state law standpoint, for a student-athlete to profit off their NIL. There is no law against it anywhere in any state, for that matter. The NIL laws by all the different states were put in to assert pressure and force the NCAA to change its bylaws.
Now that the NCAA is changing its bylaws, each school within each state is looking at its state legislation for some of the nitty gritty details on it. But the big victory is that the student-athletes will be able to use their name, image and likeness for monetary purposes because the ineligibility piece will no longer exist.
Clemson is trying to learn and work through all of this and get clarification on it so it can provide the proper guidance to its student-athletes. There are lawyers, state law and 500 student-athletes involved at Clemson, so it is a complicated issue.
“We are going from a one-year runway to a one-day runway,” Kallin said.
Clemson will be hosting calls with coaches and student-athletes to give them the update and education as they get ready to embark on this new era in collegiate athletics. Should they receive these kinds of opportunities, Clemson will continue to provide education and training as they have for all elements of the student-athlete experience.
“We have been doing this a long time and educating student-athletes and helping them prepare for their life, not only while in school, but also beyond school,” Kallin said. “This is an additional dimension of that and one that we are all still learning and adapting to, but one in which we are excited to help our student-athletes be able to take advantage of the use of their name, image and likeness.”