LU Policy Number: SP.007
Effective Date: 08/01/21
Approval Date: 10/31/2021
Revised Date: N/A
Purpose: To comply with NAIA legislation regarding student-athlete name, image, and likeness.
Additional Authority: N/A
Scope: Student-athletes, Athletic Department,
President Approval Authority: (Leave blank)
Responsible Authority: Athletics
Definitions: Definitions contained within the policy
Student-Athlete Name, Image & Likeness Policy
Effective in the Fall of 2020, NAIA student-athletes may earn compensation for the use of the their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”). Life University fully supports student-athletes’ NIL rights, as participation in intercollegiate athletics should not infringe upon a student-athlete’s right to earn compensation for his/her/their NIL. The Guidelines below are made with consideration of NAIA bylaws, and provide additional information about student-athlete NIL rights. This policy may be updated from time to time with notice to student-athletes. The goal of this policy is to provide clear guidance to ensure compliance with NAIA bylaws, protect student-athlete eligibility, and uphold Life University standards.
Name, Image and Likeness (“NIL”): An initiative to allow student-athletes with the opportunity to benefit financially from the use of their NIL. Examples of how student-athletes may monetize their NIL (not an exhaustive list):
- Promoting their own business;
- Promoting a third-party entity (e.g., brand ambassador, social media influencer); Establishing their own camp/clinic;
- Making paid appearances at businesses; or
- Signing autographs or other memorabilia.
Agent: Any individual who, directly or indirectly, represents or attempts to represent an individual for the purpose of marketing his/her/their athletics ability or reputation for financial gain or seeks to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from an intercollegiate athlete’s potential earnings. Note: The use of the term agent solely pertains to compensation from one’s NIL, and does not allow for agents to be used for contracts relating to professional or semi- professional sports, which is NOT allowed due to amateurism guidelines.
Attorney: A person who is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.
Compensation: Any form of payment or renumeration, including but not limited to cash, gifts, in-kind items of value, discounts on goods/services, social media compensation, digital currency, payments for licensing or use of publicity rights, payments for other intellectual or intangible property rights under federal or state law, and any other form of payment or renumeration. Compensation is not defined as:
- Educational expenses or financial aid, benefits, or awards provided to a student- athlete in accordance with the rules of NAIA;
- Federal or state grants or scholarships;
- Institutional or federal work study rate
Contract: Any written or verbal agreement between a student athlete and another individual which includes goals and objectives, standards, prohibitions, rules, or expectations applicable to the student-athlete.
Endorsement: An act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something.
Grant-in-Aid (including Cost of Attendance): Athletically related financial aid to assist an intercollegiate student-athlete with costs associated with attending a postsecondary education institution.
Image: Picture of the student athlete
Institutional Staff Member: An officer, director, employee or agent of Life University.
Likeness: Physical, digital, or other depiction or representation of the student athlete.
Name: Defined as first or last name, or the nickname, of the student athlete when used in a context that reasonably identifies the student athlete
Prospective Student-Athlete: An individual who has not yet enrolled in classes at Life University.
Student-athlete: A student enrolled at Life University who participates in or is eligible to participate in any intercollegiate athletic program. A person who is permanently ineligible to participate in a particular intercollegiate athletic program is not a student-athlete for the purposes of NIL. Student-athletes who are temporarily ineligible due to grades, violation of policies, etc. is still defined as a student-athlete for NIL purposes.
Life University Guidelines
A student-athlete at Life University may earn compensation for the use of his/her/their NIL if:
- The compensation is not tied to the student-athlete’s participation or performance(e.g., tying incentives to the number of points scored, shots saved, times performed,etc.);
- The compensation is not tied to attendance at Life University (both for continued attendance and recruiting purposes);
- The compensation is not provided by Life University, any Life University institutional staff member, a Life University cooperative organization, or an officer, director, employee or agent of any of these entities;
- The compensation is not arranged by or directed by an institutional staff member of Life University; and
- The duration of a contract for representation of a student-athlete or compensation for the use of a student-athlete’s NIL does not extend beyond his/her/their participation in an athletics program at a Life University.
A student-athlete’s scholarship will not be revoked or scholarship eligibility be adversely impacted as a result of a student-athlete earning compensation. No student- athlete can receive any compensation for the use of his or her name, image, or likeness when the student is engaged in official activities of the intercollegiate athletic program.
Life University international student-athletes should not enter into any compensation agreement without first checking with the Coordinator of International Programs to ensure it complies with Visa and immigration requirements.
Use of Life University Institutional Marks
A student athlete may utilize Life University intellectual property only when that use is incidental to the use of his/her/their NIL. This means that student-athletes may utilize Life U intellectual property while wearing an athletic uniform or gear bearing Life U trademarks or logos but may not use Life U intellectual property in the operation of a business such as the sale or distribution of clothing items.
All Life University intellectual property used, such as logos, fonts, and colors should follow all standards outlined in the Life University Brand Standards Guide.
The use of official logos, marks, and colors are only permitted after the student-athlete follows the appropriate reporting/disclosure requirements as outlined in this policy.
Student-Athlete Reporting/Disclosure Requirements
Any student-athlete receiving compensation for the use of their NIL must fill out the form provided on the athletics website prior to signing/agreeing to a written or verbal contract. This is not a one-time submission, as a new form must be filled and submitted for every distinct NIL compensation received.
According to the NAIA bylaws, failure to disclose NIL compensation appropriately shall result in an NAIA institutional self-report, to be reviewed by the National Coordinating Committee. The committee is empowered to review such violations and apply penalties as necessary, including but not limited to a warning or reprimand to the student-athlete, withholding the student from future competitions, and/or determining the student has lost his or her amateur status (VI.C.11).
Life University reserves the right to identify conflicts between student-athlete contracts and existing University sponsorship agreements/contracts, as well as conflicts with University mission/values.
If a conflict is identified, Life University will disclose to the student-athlete the relevant provisions of the contract that are asserted to be in conflict. After disclosure, it is the responsibility of the student-athlete or his/her/their representative to either decline the contract or make appropriate provisions to the contract to remedy conflict(s). Provisions must be resubmitted using the aforementioned reporting requirements.
In accordance with Life University mission/values, student-athletes may not enter into NIL arrangements tied to the endorsement of tobacco, alcohol, illegal substances or activities, banned athletic substances, adult entertainment, illegal services, or any form of gambling. Additional impermissible forms of NIL compensation that conflicts with University agreements/contracts include other providers of higher education (other colleges and universities), health care businesses, and related services.
Representation from Agent/Attorney
Life University may not prevent or restrict a student-athlete from obtaining representation by an agent or an attorney for the sole purpose of representing the student-athlete in matters pertaining to the use of the student-athlete’s NIL.
Any representation by an attorney obtained by a student-athlete for the purpose of representing the student-athlete in matters pertaining to the use of the intercollegiate athlete’s NIL, shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.
It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to ensure appropriate representation is obtained and licensure/certification documentation is available if requested.
While Life University will not penalize a student-athlete for earning compensation as a result of his/her/their NIL, there are repercussions for failure of a student-athlete to comply with the reporting/disclosure requirements outlined within this policy. Failure to report/disclose NIL compensation will be handled through the Department of Athletics and/or NAIA. Failure to report can include (but is not limited to) the following:
a) Additional NIL education/training
b) Temporary or permanent loss of eligibility
c) Loss of amateur status
d) Temporary suspension of athletic participation e) Loss of athletic scholarship
Student-athletes in conflict with Life University contracts/standards that occur as a result of not following reporting/disclosure requirements may be subject to disciplinary procedures as outlined in the Life University Student Code of Conduct.