Partner Jon Israel was quoted in the Law360 article, “NCAA Cedes IP Battle But Reignites Employee Status Debate,” about how, while the NCAA is set to allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, the organization is treading carefully in other areas including endorsements.
For endorsement deals, the NCAA is looking to build a wall between the players and the schools. Colleges will not be allowed to pay players directly for endorsements, nor will they be allowed to work in concert with sponsors to make such opportunities available for players.
As contemplated, there is no direct employment impact, said Israel, co-chair of Foley’s Sports Industry Team. "I think 'pay-for-play' is a quote that is thrown around a lot, and I think it is sometimes confused for compensation for services, but that is not what is happening here, at least with what the NCAA has proposed," he said. "It is third parties contracting with college athletes for endorsements and sponsorships and does not address group licenses and those other things that might really bring the schools into play in some way."