Indiana Athletics unveils policy for name, image and likeness

  • 06/30/2021 8:47 pm in

With the NCAA’s announcement today of its interim policy for name, image and likeness, Indiana Athletics announced its policy for NIL on Wednesday evening.

Here’s the full release from IU Athletics:

Bloomington, Indiana – Consistent with its standing as an industry leader in the Name, Image and Likeness arena, IU Athletics today unveiled the IU Athletics Name, Image and Likeness Policy. The comprehensive policy will guide and govern the NIL opportunities for Indiana University student-athletes beginning July 1, 2021.

IU Athletics is among the first intercollegiate athletic departments to publicly announce a comprehensive NIL policy. Today’s announcement is the latest step that IU Athletics has taken over the course of the last 12 months to ready itself and, most importantly, its student-athletes, for their ability to profit off their name, image and likeness.

That change goes into effect on July 1, 2021, in accordance with the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approval today of the NCAA Division I Council’s recommendation to extend that right to intercollegiate student-athletes.

“Dating back to the creation of the IU Athletics NIL Task Force last August, our department has been laser-focused on being at the forefront when it comes to preparing for and supporting our students NIL opportunities when this day arrived,” said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson. “Now that it is here, this comprehensive policy is our latest step and provides a roadmap for our students to maximize their opportunities while also protecting their eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics.”

Indiana University student-athletes can be contacted directly in a variety of ways to arrange or discuss potential NIL agreements, including through Opendorse Deals or by connecting with them through their social media accounts, many of which are listed on the roster pages for their respective sports.

Today’s announcement also keeps with Indiana University’s long-standing tradition of providing world-class educational and athletic opportunities for its student-athletes and supporting their opportunities to reach their full academical potential while earning an Indiana University degree.

The IU Athletics NIL policy was unveiled to Indiana University’s student-athletes and head coaches during Zoom calls today.

In addition to specifying the important opportunities, guidelines and guardrails associated with this new age of intercollegiate athletics, IU Athletics’ NIL Policy also details the expansive and ongoing NIL educational opportunities that the department, in collaboration with its partners, will provide for its student-athletes.

The ongoing NIL educational opportunities will be built into the already expansive student-athlete development and wellness programming offered by IU’s Excellence Academy, a program first introduced in 2010 that is devoted to the holistic development of Indiana University’s student-athletes. Housed in the IU Excellence Academy building on the south end of Memorial Stadium, the Excellence Academy program already provides related educational offerings year round and throughout all IU student-athletes’ careers – including multi-level leadership and financial literacy training – that will continue to be key components of IU Athletics’ NIL-related programming.

In addition to the programming already being offered by the IU Excellence Academy, expanded educational and development opportunities will be offered in the areas of brand management, brand development, business education, personal finance, taxes, entrepreneurship, contracts, and agent/advisor selection. These educational opportunities will be offered in a variety of ways, including first-person accounts and presentations from IU alumni and business leaders, similar to the financial literacy seminar that the Excellence Academy hosted last November that was led by former IU Football All-American and NFL All-Pro Adewale Ogunleye, along with special guests and IU alums Mark Cuban and Cody Zeller.

Today’s announcement, and IU Athletics NIL Policy, is nearly a full year in the making. Dolson first announced the creation of the IU Athletics NIL Task Force in August 2020, which is co-chaired by Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Administration Rebecca Pany and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications/Director of the Cuban Center Jeremy Gray. Included on the 16-person Task Force are experts from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and The Media School.

The roots of IU Athletics’ efforts related to NIL go back even further. IU Athletics first began partnering and collaborating with Opendorse, a market leader in helping sports organizations and their athletes increase the value of their Name, Image and Likeness on social media, in 2017. More than 15,000 athletes and numerous professional sports organizations currently use Opendorse to maximize their endorsement value in collaboration with partners on social media.

Under the leadership of Director of Social and Digital Media Lynnea Phillips, IU Athletics has spent the last several years onboarding its student-athletes and coaches to the Opendorse platform to prepare for this new and evolving area. To date, more than 95% of IU’s current student-athletes have joined Opendorse in advance of the July 1 rule change.

IU’s partnership with Opendorse expanded in August of 2020, when it joined the Opendorse Ready program to help its student-athletes understand their name, image and likeness rights and to receive hands-on assistance from experts to maximize their value on campus.

Earlier this week, IU Athletics also announced its partnership with NIL advisory and education firm Altius Sports Partners to further cement its standing as an industry leader. Altius will provide IU Athletics with ongoing strategic guidance, consultation and educational support in the rapidly-changing NIL ecosystem, providing its student-athletes, coaches and the department with the resources to thrive in this new age of intercollegiate athletics.

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