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Happy NIL Day!

As the NCAA ends most restrictions on student-athlete earnings

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NCAA Men’s Final Four - Previews
Trapped by new laws and a Supreme Court decision, Mark Emmert and the NCAA, after years of non-action, are forced to accept NIL reality
Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images

As expected, and with no other choice really, the NCAA has approved an interim policy on NIL rights for student-athletes, which means that the more than 100-year-old ideal of amateur athletics is now dead.

There is no other choice because on Thursday, several state laws regarding NIL go into effect and the playing field would become grossly uneven for those states. Kentucky and Ohio acknowledged that when their governors issued executive orders that kept them in the same ballpark as the soon-to-be NIL states.

Of course now all 50 states are NIL states. So what’s next?

Easy: land rush!

Schools and athletes are trying to figure out how to manage all of this while businesses are trying to get in on the ground floor, if you will. Autograph shows could begin at any time, endorsements are already in the works and many companies are going to announce deals very quickly, perhaps even today or tomorrow. Social media is going to be lucrative for some as well.

Some schools like Rutgers may go for a unitary approach, providing a service to its student-athletes in partnership with a marketing firm (so does Rutgers get a cut?)

The transfer portal has been called the Wild West but that will be nothing compared to what we will see in the next couple of weeks. In fact, we’ll make two predictions: first, people are going to get saturated and sick of it all for a while before it reaches some kind of intelligent stasis, and two, athletes in Olympic sports and who are at smaller schools or who aren’t prominent at bigger schools will start complaining that they’re not getting their fair share.

Okay, two more: tax professionals are going to market services to student-athletes and those same student-athletes are going to freak once they realize how much they’re going to owe in taxes. We really, really hope someone is counseling them not to spend the part they’re going to owe.