NIL Deals Prompt NCAA to Probe Two College Football Programs

This could have wider implications

Regulating NIL deals is still a tricky business.
Ben Hershey/Unsplash

NIL deals — focusing on an athlete’s name, image, and likeness — have begun to spread through the world of college sports. Earlier this month, an NIL deal debuted which would give Texas Longhorns offensive linemen $50,000 each year. And while some aspects of how NIL deals are parceled out have been criticized, this phenomenon seems to be addressing some of the questions raised around paying student-athletes.

That doesn’t mean that the system as it currently exists is perfect, however. This week brings the news that the NCAA is looking into a pair of NIL deals with college football teams — one at the University of Miami, and one at Brigham Young University.

A recent report from Daniel Libit and Eben Novy-Williams at Sportico offers more information on the deals and why the NCAA is looking into them. The Miami deal, with MMA program American Top Team, covers 90 players on scholarship; BYU’s covers the entire football team, and is with the energy bar company Built.

The issue here? The NCAA’s current regulations governing NIL deals do not allow pay to play deals. There’s some concern within the organization that these two might fall into that category, hence the probe.

How this might affect the NCAA’s interim NIL policy — and what it might mean for a more permanent version of that policy — still remains to be seen. But the implications of this probe certainly seem likely to extend beyond the actions of two football programs.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!