New Virginia NIL Legislation

    April 11, 2022, 08:00 AM

    On April 11, 2022, Governor Youngkin signed Senate Bill 223 “Intercollegiate athletics; student-athletes, compensation and representation for name, image, etc.” into law, effective July 1, 2022. The law establishes parameters for the compensation and representation of student-athletes, specifically related to the use of their name, image, or likeness. The law prohibits any institution of higher education from the following: “(i) prohibiting or preventing a student-athlete from earning compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness, except in certain circumstances enumerated in the bill; (ii) prohibiting or preventing a student-athlete from obtaining professional representation by a licensed athlete agent or legal representation by a licensed attorney in connection with issues related to name, image, or likeness; (iii) declaring a student-athlete ineligible for intercollegiate athletic competition because he earns such compensation or obtains such representation; or (iv) reducing, canceling, revoking, or not renewing an athletic scholarship because a student-athlete earns such compensation or obtains such representation.”

    Many of Virginia’s top collegiate athletes have already been taking advantage of the preceding change in NCAA regulations allowing for NIL deals, but they now have the codified support and protection of the Commonwealth. As Virginia joins the many other states who have passed similar legislation, it is worth noting, that the General Assembly appears to be taking a fairly conservative approach, following the NCAA’s lead as to which aspects of NIL compensation to proscribe. Many in the industry anticipate increased NCAA guidance as NIL deals become more commonplace, in the meant Virginia college athletes may continue to wade into the off-field competition of NIL endorsement and marketing.