NIL Myth: My coach knows how to navigate NIL – they have me covered.

spry nil myth Coach knows how to navigate NIL

Another popular myth student-athletes have regarding NIL is that they don’t need to secure additional advice because they can just ask their coaches for help.  

Why do NIL students think coaches can help:

  • It’s a fact that coaches and support staff are typically a one stop shop for student-athletes when it comes to just about anything that has to do with their experience.  
  • When athletes have trouble with a class, a roommate problem, their meal card isn’t working, they get parking tickets or virtually anything else that goes wrong, they’re trained to work with their coaches and it usually gets taken care of.

This is a NIL myth because:

  • NIL is new and different. Many coaches may truly have a desire to help their athletes with NIL, but simply don’t understand how it works.  They don’t have the expertise to advise  about taxes, risk management, legal liability, marketing strategies and the like.
  • Additionally, many schools have instructed their coaches not to get involved with advising student-athletes about NIL opportunities because if the student runs into problems with their deal, the institution could be liable for misadvisement or even potentially subject to legal risk under Title IX.
  • NIL is a priority for your student-athletes, but not necessarily for your coaches. A coach’s #1 priority is building a competitive program and winning games.  Some coaches view the time athletes spend pursuing NIL opportunities as time they could or should be devoting to skill development.  

Below are a couple of examples why this is a NIL myth!

“One coach from a Power 5 institution was quoted as saying “he wouldn’t know how to answer questions from his veteran players on what he could do to help them…”

“whether mandated by state legislation or through recognized best practices, institutions are generally prohibited from being involved in the specifics of their student-athletes’ NIL activities, and for a variety of good reason: too much institutional involvement can lead to claims for contractual non-performance, as well as campus compliance, Title IX and a host of employment-related issues.” 

Lyle Adams


Lyle was a member of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship team at Wake Forest. After embarking on a professional soccer career, Lyle transitioned to the tech industry, where he was one of the first 100 employees at Uber, designing platforms and tools for data consumers. Lyle also holds a Master’s in Sports Management from Columbia University.