Terms & Definitions


Do student-athletes have to pay taxes?

Under IRS guidelines, student-athletes who receive athletic aid to cover education expenses that are in excess of required tuition and fees is considered taxable income. Examples of taxable income would include scholarship funds that cover room and board, travel, tutoring services or optional supplies.

Are Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deals subject to taxes?

Income earned from NIL transactions is considered taxable income.

Are there tax implications international student-athletes on a J1 or F1 Visa participating in NIL deals?

To the extent that international student-athletes are permitted to engage with NIL opportunities, any income earned through such transactions would be subject to taxation.

What happens if a student-athlete’s state of permanent residence is different than where they go to school and they participate in NIL deals?

If a student-athlete attends school in a different state than their state of permanent residence, the student would be subject to Federal tax liability as well as potential state tax liability, depending on the tax laws of the state in which the income was earned.

Do coaches have to pay taxes?

Coaches’ income is considered taxable income.

Does earning income from NIL deals affect a student-athlete’s scholarship or financial aid terms?

Income earned from NIL deals would not impact a student-athletes athletic scholarship, however, NIL earnings could potentially impact the amount of need-based aid for which a student-athlete qualifies.

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.