August 9, 2021
I write to you today regarding a significant change in circumstances that can have a large impact on our student-athletes. As you may know, a recent opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court allows students-athletes to use their name, image, and likeness (NIL) and be compensated. Although this action has no direct impact on faculty, I wanted to provide information that may be of interest to you and make you aware UNCG representatives will also discuss the matter with the Faculty Senate.
The opinion states that neither the NCAA nor its constituent institutions may prohibit student-athletes from receiving compensation for using their name, image, and/or likeness. Student-athletes’ compensation is now subject to the market, and student-athletes may enter into agreements for the use of their NIL for actions such as starting a business and using their name to advertise it, posting ads on social media, providing athletic lessons, making compensated appearances, and signing autographs.
UNC Greensboro has some discretion to provide guidance related to NIL activities, with a few exceptions, including:
- the University cannot directly pay student-athletes to play or provide NIL compensation contingent on enrollment or athletic participation/achievement, and
- current student-athletes cannot sell UNC Greensboro issued apparel, equipment or awards.
The University has made an initial determination that student-athletes cannot compete with existing University sponsorships, wear or use UNC Greensboro marks or logos to promote their NIL, or use University facilities during NIL activities. Interim guidelines for student-athletes, developed by a working group appointed by the Chancellor’s Council, are available here for your information.
Although this court decision does not place any additional responsibilities or obligations on you, I have asked representatives from the Department of Athletics and the Office of General Counsel to join me in meeting with the Faculty Senate for discussion about any potential indirect impacts the court’s decision may have on faculty. Such impacts may be related to:
- compensating UNC Greensboro student-athletes who are in classes, labs or other instructional locations,
- developing appropriate University regulations, if any, and
- managing the University’s obligations for compliance with federal regulation related to international students’ status in regard to NIL.
I look forward to working with you as we support our student-athletes throughout all facets of their collegiate experience.