New NCAA rules allow college athletes to benefit from name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities. The change, which took effect on Aug. 28, was accompanied by a Missouri law with similar provisions.
The debate of college athletes’ compensation reached a milestone over the summer when the NCAA approved an interim NIL policy that suspended restrictions on college athletes earning money from outside sources.
“We put in so much work. 6 a.m. workouts, four-hour practices,” UMKC men’s basketball forward Arkel Lamar said. “We just get put through so much strenuous activity. I feel like we deserved to be paid.”
Athletes are responsible for marketing themselves and reaching deals on their own. Coaches and staff are not allowed to act as agents on behalf of athletes, nor are they allowed to use the NIL rules as a recruiting tactic.
“They still cannot have agents to negotiate the sports part of it, but now they can have an NIL agent to help them market, brand and negotiate deals,” UMKC Athletics Director for Compliance Randy Krahulik said. “If it is related to an NIL, they are allowed to have those individuals under contract.”
Senior Grace Ball with UMKC women’s tennis took advantage of the new rules and reached a deal with the apparel company Rhoback.
“I waited until I fully understood the rules of it all,” Ball said. “Compliance is tricky within athletics, and you want to be really careful to honor your contract and scholarship.”
Rhoback’s Instagram page has a link where student-athletes can fill out an application to potentially partner with the company.
“[Rhoback] made the link present and then their marketing director reached out to me personally,” Ball said. “They have me as one of their ‘Rhoback Athletes.’ I send out a link, someone buys from that and they pay me.”
Other notable Rhoback athletes include Notre Dame football safety Kyle Hamilton and Georgia quarterback JT Daniels.
Along with the NIL changes within the NCAA, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 on June 21 that the organization cannot enforce limits on education-related benefits for athletes.
“Maybe we have a player that is on our team right now that wants to go to law school,” UMKC men’s basketball head coach Billy Donlon said. “We can legally pay for it because there are no limits on education.”