(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)
On Wednesday morning, it was announced that the NCAA’s Board of Governors supported rule changes to allow players to profit off of their name, image, and likeness via third-party endorsements both related to an apart from athletics. They also supported compensation through other mediums, such as social media and businesses.
However, the use of conference and school logos, trademarks will no be allowed under these new rule changes that the NCAA’s Board of Governors has supported.
These recommendations will now move to the rules-making structure in all three divisions. The three divisions are expected to adopt new name, image, and likeness rules by January. Those rules would go into effect at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
This development is a huge win for college athletes across all sports. And while football and basketball players will likely benefit the most from this ruling, it impacts all sports at all levels.
So, how would new name, image, and likeness rules impact college lacrosse?
The most realistic option for college lacrosse players to make money would be through YouTube or social media as they would be permitted to monetize their channels and collect money from ad revenue, and any brands that want to endorse them. And for big-name players, a pretty significant amount of money could come from that.
College players see what professional players like Paul Rabil have built with his social media empire. Top-notch college players at top-notch programs or even lower-end college players with great personalities would benefit greatly in the realm of social media and YouTube under any bill that allows them to profit off their image and likeness.
Another very logical way that players could make money is through camps and clinics. Players could set up a business and host summer camps with their branding on it and make a pretty good amount of money. Players could also set up some kind of online training program as well.
And while the YouTube, social media, and personal business routes does make more sense for players in a non-revenue sport like lacrosse, it is hard to imagine any brand in the lacrosse industry wouldn’t want to sponsor or endorse a player. After all, college lacrosse is still the most viewed level of the sport in the United States.
However, there is going to be some language around endorsement deals from lacrosse brands due to schools having deals in place with these brands already. Could a player at an STX school sign a contract with Warrior? That is something that will need to be hashed before this thing can be finalized and put into effect.
At top-notch programs where lacrosse means a lot to the school and the fanbase, there is bound to be a local businessman that wants to sponsor a player. Whether it is a car dealership or a dentist’s office, there are going to be local businesses in some places that want to get a piece of a player if and when they can.
The same can be said for any program that have very wealthy lacrosse alums who take pride in their alma mater. Where there is pride, there is money to be handed out. Many of these high-rollers usually give directly to the school, but would they now split that money and give some to top-players for an appearance or something of that nature?
There is no question that college lacrosse will make less money off their name, image, and likeness than football and basketball player, but there will still be opportunities for players to line their pockets.