Potential impact of NIL on local colleges and universities

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The NCAA Board of Governors announced earlier this week it supports a potential new rule that would allow student-athletes to benefit financially from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne says he supports the NCAA's decision to move forward with a potential new rule that would allow student-athletes to benefit financially from their name, image, and likeness.

According to the NCAA, the rule would "allow student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics. It also supports compensation for other student-athlete opportunities, such as social media, businesses they have started and personal appearances within the guiding principles originally outlined by the board in October."

James Madison University Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne told WHSV in a Zoom interview that he supports the NCAA's decision to move forward with the rule.

"I think it's the right thing to do on behalf of the student-athletes," said Bourne. "We have talked for a long time at the NCAA level, institutional level about showing parity between the general student body and the student-athletes as much as we can. Those are opportunities that were afforded to the general student body so I think it's appropriate that student-athletes get the same chance."

Bourne also stresses it is important for individuals who may use the NIL rule to be educated on all of its details. He believes student-athletes at JMU could benefit financially from the rule and used former James Madison softball star Megan Good as an example.

"Here's a National Player of the Year, somebody everyone knew whether she was in her uniform or not," said Bourne, about Good who is a Shenandoah Valley native and considered be one of the best athletes in the history of JMU. "I think individuals like that, with that type of breadth of exposure, would stand a chance to benefit from this."

The NIL rule is expected to take effect beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year. To learn more about it, click here.

Potential Impact of NIL on local NCAA Division III athletic programs
Dave King
Director of Athletics - Eastern Mennonite University

"I don't anticipate that the new legislation regarding NIL (name, image and likeness) will have much impact on the DIII athlete. One positive impact will be that a student athlete who writes a book, starts a business, writes and/or performs music, etc. will now be permitted to receive compensation for those ventures. This scenario is more likely at the DIII level where student athletes have more time for these types of pursuits.

I do believe that there are some geographical locations where local businesses may be more likely to have athletes promote their business. This might be more likely in locations where the DIII institution is "the only show in town" and/or the businesses rely heavily on the collegiate community. While not a problem, it could create an uneven playing field for recruiting. In addition, there are some institutions that are perennial "powerhouses" in certain sports and businesses in those communities may want to use the national attention to their benefit.

While I don't think any new legislation will have a great impact on DIII, the reality is that anything that starts at DI or DII will eventually reach DIII in some way, shape or form."

Curt Kendall
Director of Athletics - Bridgewater College

"I do not see NIL legislation greatly affecting DIII. All three NCAA Divisions must establish the guidelines for this and have their proposal in to the Board of Governors for January voting by the end of October. The DIII proposal will likely still keep DIII philosophy in place."

Thomas Byrnes
Director of Athletics - Mary Baldwin University

"I don't think it'll have much impact on MBU or Division III in general. Considering that there are about 450 NCAA Division III schools and it's the biggest division in the organization, there will be some Division III student-athletes over time that benefit from this change. But it will likely be a very small percentage, especially compared to the Division I higher-profile or Olympic-caliber athletes that compete on TV regularly.

It's more likely that Division III student-athletes will be able to take advantage of the new NIL policies "off the field" items - such as if they start their own business - than for their on-field success."