Local universities navigate new NIL policy for student-athletes

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Last week the NCAA enforced an interim policy that would allow student-athletes to monetize off of their name, image, and likeness, a policy already enacted by the NAIA.

Student-athletes at Drake University are wasting no time closing deals based on their name, image, and likeness. 

“So far in the first week we’ve had between 15 and 20 student-athletes who have signed deals with companies and businesses,” Drake Athletic Director, Brian Hardin said. 

Drake University plans on utilizing faculty, alumni, and community members to help students navigate this new space when it comes to topics such as branding, contracts, and how this will impact their financial aid.

“Just making sure that athletes are aligning themselves with the proper businesses and companies, that they’re not being taken advantage of and they’re finding ways to best utilize their name, image, and likeness,” Hardin said. 

NAIA signed off on letting student-athletes monetize their name, image, and likeness last October. 

Grand View University said it hasn’t seen any problems with this new policy thus far.  However, they do have minor concerns going into the new school year.  

“Our donor base isn’t the same as maybe a large division one school. And so, if all of a sudden, maybe a top donor decides he’s going to give directly to a student-athlete instead of a program that could be a hit,” Men’s Wrestling Coach Nick Mitchell said. “So, it’s just something that we’re gonna have to make sure we communicate with our athletes and obviously communicate with our donors too.” 

Regardless, Grand View University President Kent Henning said the administration still wants to help students succeed.

“To the extent that local businesses are willing to spend some of their marketing or promotion dollars involving our student-athletes, I think it’s incumbent upon us to work with our student-athletes to position themselves to do that and benefit from it,” Henning said. 

Both Drake University and Grand View University require students to receive approval before signing a deal with a third party. 

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