Student-Athlete Compensation for Use of Name, Image, and Likeness
3810.1 Policy Statement and Purpose
The Ohio Governor’s Executive Order 2021-10D, allows Student-Athletes to pursue opportunities to profit financially from their Name, Image, and Likenesses (NIL). It also allows institutions of higher education to establish policies to address any failure to comply with the Executive Order’s requirements. The purpose of this policy is to enforce the Executive Order and any subsequent state or federal legislation as applicable.
It is each Student-Athlete’s responsibility to understand and comply with the Executive Order, NCAA rules, Horizon League rules, this policy, and any other applicable laws, regulations, and policies. Student-Athletes are encouraged to review this policy closely, consult with trusted representatives, and share it with potential professional service providers and sponsors. Questions about this policy may be raised to the Wright State University Athletics Compliance Office.
Compensation: means any form of payment or remuneration, including but not limited to cash, gifts, in-kind items of value, social media compensation, payments for licensing or use of publicity rights, and payments for other intellectual or intangible property rights under federal or state law. Compensation does not mean: educational expenses or any financial aid, benefits, or awards provided to a Student-Athlete in accordance with rules of an athletic association; federal or state grants or scholarships; or payment of wages and benefits at a rate commensurate with prevailing rate for similar work in the Wright State area to a Student-Athlete for work actually performed other than for athletic ability or participation in intercollegiate athletics.
NIL Activities: means Student-Athletes earning Compensation from third parties as a result of the use of the Student-Athlete’s NIL. Examples include but, are not limited to: autograph signing, personal appearances, social media endorsements, camps/clinics, private lessons, and/or promoting a commercial product or service.
Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL): means the first name, last name, or nickname of the Student-Athlete when used in a context that reasonably identifies the Student-Athlete with particularity; a picture of the Student-Athlete; and/or a physical, digital, or other depiction or representation of the Student-Athlete.
Official Team Activities: include but are not limited to: all games, practices, exhibitions, scrimmages, team appearances, team photograph sessions, sports camps sponsored by the University, and other team or University organized activities, regardless of whether the activity takes place on or off-campus, including individual photograph sessions and news media interviews.
Student-Athlete: means an individual who engages in or is eligible to engage in an intercollegiate athletics program at Wright State University, but does not include for a particular intercollegiate sport an individual who is permanently ineligible to participate in that particular sport.
3810.3 Required Disclosure of NIL Contracts and Approval Process
A Student-Athlete who intends to enter into a verbal or written contract for NIL Activities must disclose the proposed contract to the University’s Athletics Compliance Office for review for compliance with this policy before agreeing to the contract. As part of the review process, the University will determine whether the proposed contract conflicts with a provision of a contract to which the University is a party, such as an exclusive sponsorship contract. If there is a conflict:
- The Athletics Compliance Office will inform the Student-Athlete of the relevant NIL contract provision that is in conflict.
- The Student-Athlete cannot enter into the proposed contract but may negotiate a revision to the proposed contract to avoid the conflict.
- The Athletics Compliance Office will review the revised proposed contract to verify the conflict is eliminated and otherwise ensure compliance.
A Student-Athlete shall not enter into a verbal or written contract for NIL Activities or accept any Compensation or provide any deliverables or services under such a contract until it has been reviewed and approved by the Athletics Compliance Office.
3810.4 Official Team Activities and Academic Activities
A Student-Athlete cannot engage in NIL Activities during Official Team Activities, including displaying a sponsor’s product, or otherwise advertising for a sponsor, during Official Team Activities. Engaging in NIL Activities must be done on the Student-Athlete’s personal time.
Further, the University expects Student-Athletes not to engage in NIL Activities during academic activities (e.g. class, study hall, exams, and assessments). Student-Athletes are responsible for any consequences related to missing Official Team Activities or academic activities due to NIL Activities or any other non-excused purpose consistent with University policy and procedures.
3810.5 Prohibited Sponsorships
Wright State Student-Athletes are highly visible representatives of their teams and the University and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner that reflects the highest standards of athletic excellence and upholds the integrity of the University. Accordingly, no Student-Athlete may enter into a verbal or written contract providing Compensation to them for associating their NIL with any of the following:
- Any company or brand that manufactures, markets, sells, or is associated with a controlled substance, marijuana product, medical marijuana product, alcoholic product, tobacco product, electronic smoking device, vapor product, or product or device that consists of or contains nicotine that can be ingested into the body.
- Any medical marijuana cultivator, processor, laboratory, or retail dispensary licensed under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3796 or under the laws of another state.
- Any business engaged in the sale, rental, or exhibition for any form of consideration of adult entertainment that is characterized by an emphasis on the exposure or display of sexual activity.
- Any casino or entity that sponsors or promotes gambling activities.
The University reserves the right to add to this list, any other category of companies, brands, or types of contracts that are similar to those listed above. Any additional items will be communicated to the Student-Athlete before the Student-Athlete enrolls at the University or 30 days after the executive order is in effect if currently enrolled.
3810.6 Pay-for-Play and Impermissible Inducement
Student-Athletes shall not enter into a verbal or written contract that compensates them for any of the following:
- Compensation in exchange for a Student-Athlete’s athletic participation or performance at the University (i.e., “pay-for-play”);
- Compensation in exchange for a Student-Athlete’s decision to attend or their continued enrollment in the University (i.e., improper recruiting inducements); and
- Compensation for work not performed (i.e., sham agreements with third parties in which a Student-Athlete does not provide legitimate NIL Activities).
The University, and all University employees or others acting on behalf of the University, may not use NIL Activities or promises related to NIL Activities in any manner that could be deemed an inducement for athletic performance or attendance at Wright State University.
3810.7 Student-Athlete Professional Representation
A Student-Athlete is allowed to hire professional representation, at the Student-Athlete’s own cost, in relation to contracts or legal matters regarding opportunities for NIL Activities. If using an “athlete agent” for purposes of assisting with contracts or Compensation for the Student-Athlete’s NIL, then it must conform with the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4771 and comply with the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act established in 15 U.S.C. Section 7801, et seq. Further, it is the Student-Athlete’s responsibility to follow all other laws, regulations, and rules regarding professional representation, including NCAA and Horizon League rules. Failure to follow the rules around Student-Athlete representation may impact a Student-Athlete’s intercollegiate eligibility.
3810.8 Use of University Marks and Facilities
Student-Athletes shall not use Wright State University intellectual property in connection with their NIL Activities without the prior written permission of the University’s Office of Marketing in consultation with the University’s Athletics Department. Wright State University intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, Wright State University’s name, trademarks, service marks, logos, colors, symbols, apparel with University trademarks/logos, and uniforms, regardless of whether the intellectual property is registered. Wright State University may grant or refuse to grant permission in its sole discretion.
Student-Athletes are also prohibited from using University facilities, including University owned athletic fields, in connection with NIL Activities, without prior written approval from the University, and such use must comply with the University’s standard policies and practices (e.g. execution of a facility rental agreement, paying rental rates, liability insurance). Similarly, Student-Athletes are prohibited from using University resources, including University-owned equipment, services, and infrastructure, in connection with NIL Activities without the prior written approval of the University.
Student-Athletes may, in connection with NIL Activities, state that they are a Student-Athlete at the University and/or list their personal academic or athletic accolades. However, Student-Athletes shall not state or imply, directly or indirectly, that Wright State University is endorsing the NIL Activity or any products or services associated with that NIL Activity.
Failure to comply with this policy may result in loss of privileges and other sanctions as appropriate, including but not limited to, verbal or written reprimand, probation, loss of practice privileges, loss of competition privileges, suspension or dismissal from the program, and/or loss of athletic eligibility.
3810.10 Other Rules and Regulations
Student-Athletes must follow all NCAA and Horizon League rules and University academic standards, attendance requirements, and policies and procedures, including the Code of Student Conduct and all team rules of conduct (if applicable).
The University reviews any proposed NIL contract submitted by a Student-Athlete exclusively for the purpose of determining whether the proposed NIL contract complies with this policy. The University may not and does not negotiate for or on behalf of or represent the Student-Athlete in relation to any contract or other legal matter. A Student-Athlete’s solicitation or receipt of Compensation from NIL Activities may adversely impact other matters: for example, taxes, need-based financial aid (such as a Pell grant), or the visa status of an international student. Student-Athletes are encouraged to obtain, at their own cost, professional guidance regarding earning Compensation through NIL Activities and the impact it may have on other matters.