NFLPA Advises Agents on Entering NIL Agreements with Student Athletes
The opening of student athlete name image and likeness compensation Thursday is not without its controversies. One of the most concerning for fans and analysts alike is the unopposed involvement of agents partnering with student athletes.
The NFL Player's Association announced Thursday morning in response to college athletics' recent evolution that agents will be permitted to enter agreements with college football players so long as those agreements follow the laws and guidelines presented by states and programs concerning NIL.
"Contract Advisors are permitted to enter into NIL marketing agreements with a college player, which agreements are not generally the subject of the NFLPA's Regulations," the NFLPA said in a memo Thursday. "However, under the Regulations, it is in the CA's responsibility to monitor and ensure that they are in full compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, as well as NCAA rules that impact the player's eligibility."
The NFLPA also stressed to its agents that these agreements cannot be connected to a player's future involvement in the league. Rumors of agents formulating a plan to offer compensation upfront for a player to later hire them have spread over the past few weeks leading up to the opening of NIL regulations. This memo from the NFLPA seeks to disrupt any such plans from taking place.
Effectively, any player that enters an agreement with an agent will be allowed to seek advice on NIL contracts and situations only. The assistance can not be afforded on the basis that the two parties should work together at any point in the future.
"Obviously, the NIL are is rapidly evolving," the memo reads. "Therefore, the NFLPA will engage in discussions on these matters with player leaders..., college players representative groups, and a group of CAs."
If it sounds difficult to police, that's absolutely the case. The NFLPA will have to learn and grow with this new landscape just as the world of college athletics will.
The concern over agents involvement grew among fans and analysts more once the NCAA placed a temporary lift on all of its NIL rules, giving the governing power to the states with legislation in place and to the NCAA-member schools outside of those states. This action left many to question how college athletics as a whole could prevent agents from interacting with students.
At the very least, the NFLPA has stepped in to let its agents know how the landscape will be traversed for the foreseeable future. No other major American professional sports league's player association has vocalized a position on the matter, however.