U. of Michigan Launches Registry to Facilitate NIL Deals

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The University of Michigan athletic department on Wednesday launched "VICTORS Local Exchange," a registry it hopes will make name, image and likeness transactions between current student-athletes and interested businesses easier.

As reported by mlive.com, the registry represents what the school calls β€œa streamlined process" for businesses to propose lucrative deals with Michigan student-athletes.

Michigan says registered companies will be allowed to search, filter and initiate conversation with student-athletes to facilitate an NIL deal. If and when a deal is brokered, the company will be able to pay the student-athlete directly through the platform, mlive.com reported.

The move comes months after the NCAA relaxed rules in July 2021 to allow student-athletes the ability to profit off their name, image and likeness. The NCAA has left it up to individual states and schools to shape their own policies, but NCAA rules prohibit schools from using endorsement deals to entice prospective student-athletes.

Michigan passed a law regulating NIL activity in the state, but it’s not expected to take effect until Dec. 31. The University of Michigan drafted its own policy prohibiting student-athletes from engaging in business transactions that could harm the reputation of the school β€” such as those involving gambling or pornography β€” and prohibiting them from using school trademarks.

The launch of the registry appears to be a softening of Michigan's initial NIL stance, which made it clear the school would not help facilitate NIL deals for student-athletes, nor assist in the hire of marketing agents or professionals.

The new registry will also expand programs to assist Michigan student-athletes in β€œacademic and career success, health and welfare, education, leadership development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and personal branding programs hosted by institutional experts,” mlive.com reported.

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