At the University of Virginia (UVA), the comprehensive student-athlete experience is a significant factor in attracting elite-level student-athletes. Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) are critical components of that comprehensive student-athlete experience. Inherent in all we do at UVA, honor and integrity are bedrock principles, and NIL at UVA is no different. Our mission continues to be to win championships at the highest level and develop our student-athletes into world-class leaders.
Our NIL program provides meaningful engagement for our student-athletes with the Charlottesville community and local, national, and worldwide business partners. As such our student-athletes will develop, enhance their skills and execute on projects and skills such as community building, business development, financial management along with personal branding and marketing skills.
WAYS TO ENGAGE
In July 2021, the NCAA adopted an NIL Interim Policy that permits a student-athlete to benefit from their NIL, as long as the opportunity is not pay-for-play or an improper recruiting inducement. Thereafter, the NCAA has provided the following guidance:
A booster and/or NIL entity cannot contact an incoming prospective student-athlete (or their family) about potential NIL opportunities prior to being admitted. This applies to high school and transfer prospective student-athletes.
Neither boosters nor a collective should be communicating with prospective student-athletes prior to enrollment, whether it is via a telephone call, text message, email, DMs, etc.
A booster and/or NIL entity cannot enter into an NIL agreement (written or oral) with a PSA prior to enrollment.
A coach, institutional staff member, booster or NIL entity cannot solicit, facilitate or provide additional NIL opportunities to ensure that a student-athlete remains enrolled at an institution.
NIL activities cannot occur during practice, competition or while on-call for athletic department activities.
Institutions cannot proactively assist in the development, execution or implementation of NIL activities.
The NCAA presumes a violation occurred should there be circumstantial evidence that suggests a student-athlete, institution, booster, NIL entity, business or other entity engaged in impermissible conduct related to NIL.
In January 2022, SB 223 and HB 507 were introduced into the Virginia Legislature to permanently provide student-athletes the ability to use their NIL for commercial purposes. The Virginia Legislature merged the bills and adopted SB223. Governor Glenn Youngkin signed SB223 and ensured that student-athletes could use their NIL for commercial purposes.
The Virginia NIL law permits a student-athlete to earn money from their NIL and obtain professional representation for NIL purposes. However, the Virginia NIL law doesn’t permit a student-athlete to use their NIL in conjunction with the following: (1) alcohol and alcoholic beverages; (2) adult entertainment; (3) cannabis, cannabinoids, cannabidiol, or other derivatives (not including hemp or hemp products); (4) controlled substances; (5)performance enhancing drugs or substances (e.g., steroids, human growth hormone); (6) drug paraphernalia; (7) tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, nicotine vapor products, and similar products and devices; (8) weapons; and (9) casinos or gambling, including sports betting.
The Virginia NIL law provides each institution discretion as to whether a student-athlete can use institutional facilities, apparel, uniforms, equipmentor its intellectual property during NIL activity. Moreover, the Virginia NIL law provides each institution discretion with regard to whether to preclude an NIL opportunity that conflicts with an existing institutional agreement.
The University of Virginia’s intellectual property may be licensed for NIL activities. Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, federally registered trademarks, trade dress, indicia, unregistered marks, logos, colors, uniforms, and copyrightable photographs or videos.
The University will NOT generally license the following products:
Alcoholic beverages and statements promoting the use of the alcoholic beverages
Bathroom articles (toilet seats, toilet paper, etc.)
Sexually suggestive statements or articles
Statements infringing other schools
NCAA rules and Virginia NIL law permit student-athletes to obtain professional representation (e.g., agent, lawyer, financial advisor) for NIL-related purposes.
Per the Code of Virginia § 54.1-526 through 54.1-542, unless exempt from the registration requirements pursuant to the statute, an individual must be licensed to engage in any form of NIL-related representation. To register, please visit and submit an application for the Athlete Agent Registration Program.
A professional service provider may not market a student-athlete’s athletic ability or reputation to secure an opportunity as a professional athlete. In accordance with NCAA rules, a student-athlete will be deemed ineligible if a professional service provider markets his or her athletic ability for an opportunity as a professional athlete.
At the University of Virginia (“University”), we have a customized network of support to educate and empower student-athletes interested in developing meaningful, long-term opportunities beyond their sport. By partnering with faculty, alumni and various institutional partners, we ensure student-athletes have resources about goal setting, value alignment and brand and product development.
Focusing on personalized resources and high-impact experiences, we provide resources that enable student- athletes to develop agency, create a strong network, understand and assess risk, focus on personal and brand awareness, and most importantly, connect their efforts to the world-class education they earn in the classroom.
Ability to Amend Policy
The University reserves the right to adjust the NIL policy at any time.
All student-athletes are permitted to use their NIL for commercial purposes, except as outlined below.
International student-athletes are subject to federal immigration laws and may be restricted from using their NIL for commercial purposes. International student-athletes should discuss any potential NIL opportunity with the International Studies Office and the Athletics Compliance Office. International student-athletes may also want to consult legal counsel about NIL activity.
If an international student-athlete violates the terms of their F-1 visa, then they can be subject to various penalties (e.g., deportation).
A student-athlete may use institutional facilities for NIL activities, as long as the use has been approved by the University and it doesn’t violate National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) rules, the NCAA’s NIL interim policy, subsequent guidance or institutional policies. Institutional facilities include buildings, structures, venues, and sites or locations controlled and/or operated by the University. For more information please contact John Welch (email@example.com).
A student-athlete may use the University’s intellectual property, as long as the use has been approved by the University, and the use doesn’t violate NCAA rules, the NCAA’s NIL interim policy, subsequent guidance or institutional policies. Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, federally registered trademarks, trade dress, indicia, unregistered marks, logos, colors, uniforms, identity and copyrightable photographs or videos.
Any use of intellectual property, or any other action or activity that may be construed as a product endorsement, must be submitted to the Director of Licensing, Katie Dittmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), for review prior to signing, executing, advertising or performing an NIL agreement or activity. If approval is not provided, the University may pursue appropriate actions.
The University is permitted promote a student-athlete’s NIL activities, as long as there is no additional cost incurred.
A student-athlete cannot earn NIL compensation unless the student-athlete actually performs work pursuant to the NIL agreement.
A student-athlete shall be prohibited from earning compensation for the use of their NIL in connection with any of the following: (1) casinos or gambling, including sports betting; (2) alcohol products; (3) adult entertainment; (4) cannabis, cannabinoids, cannabidiol, or other derivatives; (5) dangerous or controlled substances; (6) performance enhancing drugs or substances (e.g., steroids, human growth hormone); (7) drug paraphernalia; (8) tobacco and electronic smoking products and devices; or (9) weapons, including firearms and ammunition.
The University may preclude a student-athlete from engaging in NIL activities that conflict with existing institutional arrangements. If a conflict exists, the University will notify the student-athlete about the potential issue and provide written notice of the terms at issue and the relevant policy, procedure or rule.
NCAA rules preclude a student-athlete from engaging in NIL activity while on-call (e.g., practice, competition, press conference). The University precludes a student-athlete from participating in NIL activities while engaged in academic, department or official team activities. Academic activities include, but are not limited to, class, tutoring, meeting with an academic coordinator or academic services. Department and official team activities include countable athletically related activities (“CARA”) or required athletically related activities (“RARA”), including but not limited to, practice, competition, travel, community service, promotional activity or an athletic department meeting or event.
NCAA rules preclude a student-athlete with remaining eligibility from selling (or exchanging anything of value) apparel, equipment, a participation award or any other item that is provided to them as a result of athletic participation for NIL purposes or otherwise.
The University (and its agents) and Virginia Athletics Foundation cannot compensate prospective or current student-athletes for their NIL. Compensation does not include an athletic scholarship.
The University (and its agents) and Virginia Athletics Foundation cannot enter into an agreement with a student-athlete for products related to NIL activities. Furthermore, the University cannot share revenue (e.g., ticket, broadcast rights) with student-athletes in any manner.
The University cannot assist with the development, creation, execution or implementation of NIL activities, unless the same benefit is available to all students. Furthermore, the University cannot provide services (other than education), or access to equipment, to support NIL activities, unless the same benefit is available to all students.
The University cannot employ or retain an individual or outside entity that procures or negotiates NIL activities for student-athletes. The University can merely inform student-athletes about NIL activities.
Employees of the University and Virginia Athletics Foundation cannot advise, recommend, or assist a student-athlete select an athlete agent, lawyer, financial advisor, accountant, marketing agent, advisor or any other type of professional service provider. Moreover, employees of the University and Virginia Athletics Foundation cannot provide student-athletes with any type of legal advice, business advice, tax advice, or investment advice. However, it is permissible to provide general education that may assist a student-athlete evaluate a professional service provider.
The University, its employees, and representative of athletic interests are prohibited from using NIL activities as an inducement for initial or continued enrollment, or as a substitute for compensating student- athletes for athletic performance or participation. However, the University may provide an NIL entity a student-athlete’s contact information, introduce a student-athlete to representatives from an NIL entity, permit an NIL entity to use its facilities to meet with a student-athlete, provide a representative of athletics interests’ information to an NIL entity and/or permit staff members to assist an NIL entity fundraise.
The University cannot reduce, cancel, revoke or not renew an athletic scholarship because a student-athlete earns compensation from their NIL or enters into a permissible representation agreement for NIL activities.
A student-athlete may use an athlete agent, attorney, financial advisor or other professional service providers for activities associated with NIL activities. An individual must be licensed per the Code of Virginia § 54.1-526 through 54.1-542, unless exempt from the registration requirements pursuant to the statute.
The athlete agent, attorney, financial advisor or other service provider may not market a student-athlete’s athletic ability or reputation to secure an opportunity as a professional athlete. In accordance with NCAA rules, a student-athlete will be deemed ineligible if an athlete agent, attorney, financial advisor or other professional service provider markets their athletic ability for an opportunity as a professional athlete.
To the extent possible, any representation agreement should be provided to the Athletics Compliance Office prior to entering into the agreement. The Athletics Compliance Office will review each representation agreement to ensure it does not violate any NCAA rule.
A student-athlete must disclose all NIL activities to the Athletics Compliance Office. To the extent possible, NIL agreements should be disclosed prior to entering into the agreement. If that isn’t possible, the Athletics Compliance Office will work with the student-athlete to disclose as soon as possible.
A student-athlete will disclose all NIL activity through INFLCR. A student-athlete must provide details about any/all parties involved, information about the scope of the agreement, compensation arrangements, and any other information deemed necessary by the Athletics Compliance Office. The Athletics Compliance Office will then review whether there are any NCAA violations or issues with institutional policy or state law.
Institutional, Conference & NCAA Promotional Activities
This policy is not applicable to promotional activities for the NCAA, ACC or the University.
The University is not responsible for any obligation pursuant to an agreement between a student-athlete and a commercial entity, third-party NIL entity, or a professional service provider.