NIL Episode 4: Asking NCAA To Do What’s Right - Sportsfinda's Marketplace

In the Business of NIL Episode 4, our guest and former UMASS tennis player, Brittany Collens shares her unfortunate and awful experience with what happened to her and her team regarding NCAA regulations and rules along with her tips and guidance on asking the NCAA to do what’s right. 


Collens and her friend/teammate were accidentally given about $250 each for a landline stipend that was never used. Unfortunately this was discovered about 3 years after it happened which caused the NCAA to step in with a very harsh penalty and essentially try and erase their careers by taking away their wins along with their conference title that they had won despite them not really doing anything wrong. 


An important thing to be aware of for student athletes is that just because of these new times and opportunities to make money, shady deals can still occur and student athletes can still get in trouble for breaking certain rules, and not being protected. Therefore it is important for student athletes to get protected by going to the right:

  • Lawyers
  • Trusted family/friends
  • Organizations


Through a little over two weeks in, there has been a lot of movement and activity throughout  NIL all across the country. As Collens mentions, it is cool to see “so many high profile athletes who are making money through their NIL and using that money to pay for teammates scholarships or walk-ons.” This is cool to see because it is important that this is bringing teams closer together instead of the money making players selfish or jealous and tearing them apart. 


There are some great learning stones and life lessons for student athletes that come along the way from these new experiences such as:

  • Knowing the law
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Taxes / Financing


For the lower profile athletes with a smaller social following, some important things to keep in mind for them to build up their name image and likeness is:

  • Host camps/meet and greets, do something that is going to have fans and people looking up to you which will have a positive effect and cause for your social following to grow 
  • Go after the local deals near your hometown that want to be a part of your story which can bring in many new followers, fans and grow your name image and likeness
  • Team up with teammates because the “power in numbers” can have a big effect on your growth and really build up your NIL along with your teammates


It is also important as a student athlete to represent his or her hometown, and in doing so can positively affect his or her name, image and likeness growing due to their story experiences they come across. Along with that, it is also important experience that student athletes will have throughout the NIL process is to sell themselves, while doing so they will:

  • Learn how to talk to people
  • Learn how to negotiate
  • Have experience(s) to grow as an individual with these life experiences 


To wrap it up, some of the most important things for athletes coming into these new experiences and situations are to be protected and make sure that you are aware of what the NCAA thinks is “right” to avoid getting you or your organization in any sorts of trouble. Along with that, it is important to learn and grow with the experiences you encounter by not only growing your name, image and likeness along the way, but also growing and maturing while learning from everything that occurs along the way. 

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