It seems really easy. Make a list and cross things off or add notes when needed. But NIL compliance isn’t that simple.
As NIL opportunities are ramping up, the number of disclosures is growing by the day. Student-Athletes are exploring ways to make deals and will therefore need approvals. And the nuances that need to be tracked keep getting more and more complex (think school specific requirements compounded with the possible state specific needs of an out-of-state student-athlete, or the financial aid implications that just a few extra dollars on a deal could wreck). But is that all effectively being tracked on a whiteboard or piece of paper all that efficient? How often do we all lose track of an email in our inbox? Or accidentally work off of an out of date version of a team spreadsheet?
Right now, institutions may think that NIL deal volume is too low to justify any kind of software to track their disclosures. They are banking on the fact that student-athletes will remain compliant through a spreadsheet or handwritten method, and that maintaining that growing records system will remain manageable. But we know that is an invitation for increased risk. NIL opportunities are only going to increase as new student-athletes learn how to market themselves and their brand. It could be helpful to find a suitable NIL platform to track and record these deals for more effective NIL compliance.
Several other reasons why it is a myth that institutions do not need NIL software include:
- If the NCAA does create rules around NIL, you will have a virtual paper trail of all of the transactions.
- It’s much easier to compare year over year records
- Load Institutions partners and immediately identify conflicts of interest
- Reporting statistics for recruiting
- Just because SAs are not disclosing, doesn’t mean they aren’t participating in NIL activity and creating areas of risk
So, don’t fall for the idea that the old pen and paper will cover your NIL compliance needs. Do the research and find the right software program to help your institution from start to finish.
“They [schools] said, ‘Everyone’s focused on marketing and branding, but what we’re worried about is how are we going to protect our student athletes? How are we going to know what our athletes are entering into before it’s too late?’” Schoenthal said. “We realized there was a need in this space. Marketing is cool and branding is cool, but none of that matters if your kids aren’t eligible.”