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Student-Athletes Use Tourney to Promote NIL Rights

Jason Scott

With name, image and likeness laws being discussed in state legislatures around the country, some student-athletes participating in the NCAA tournament are taking advantage of the spotlight to drive those conversations forward.

Led by a trio of Big Ten players — Iowa's Jordan Bohannon, Michigan's Isaiah Livers and Rutgers' Geo Baker — and with the assistance of the National Collegiate Players Association advocacy group, players have been posting on social media under the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty to push for more opportunities and protections for student-athletes, according to ESPN.

In addition to raising awareness on social media, the group plans to host panel discussions with athletes and experts to discuss "unjust NCAA rules and ways to ensure college athletes are treated fairly," according to a statement ESPN received from the group on Wednesday. 

Current NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from being compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness. According to ESPN, six states have already passed laws that will make current NCAA amateurism rules illegal, and similar legislation is pending in at least a dozen more states. 

In a statement, the NCPA said the group was seeking concessions from the NCAA, including:

  • NCAA rule changes to allow all athletes the freedom to secure representation and receive pay for use of our name, image, and likeness by July 1st.

  • A meeting with NCAA President Mark Emmert.

  • Meetings with state & federal lawmakers and President Biden’s administration to pass laws to give college athletes physical, academic, and financial protections.

  • The Supreme Court to rule in support of plaintiffs/college athletes in Alston v. NCAA and to not give the NCAA any power to deny us equal freedoms.

The group has not discussed protesting a tournament game.

“These players are taking a historic stand to protect the rights and freedoms of generations of players to come,” NCPA executive director Ramogi Huma said in a statement. “They are people #NotNCAAProperty.”

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