What is UK’s NIL policy?


Kentucky Wildcats setter Madison Lilley (3) is introduced before the University of Kentucky vs. Texas NCAA women’s volleyball championship game on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. UK won 3-1. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Barkley Truax

The University of Kentucky has released their policy on name, image and likeness (NIL).

Their policy reads as followed: “To ensure that a student athlete may earn compensation for the use of his or her name, image, or likeness (NIL). Such compensation must be commensurate with the market value of the authorized use of the student athlete’s name, image, or likeness. Such compensation may not be provided in exchange, in whole or in part, for a current or prospective student athlete to attend, participate, or perform at the university.”

While the definition for compensation is widely recognized as the ability to profit off each student-athlete’s NIL, UK has defined what type compensation is unacceptable for student-athletes to conduct.

1: “Educational expenses or any financial aid, benefits or awards provided to a student-athlete in accordance with rules of an athletic association.

2: “Federal or state grants or scholarships.”

3: “Payments of wages and benefits at a rate commensurate with prevailing rate for similar work in the locality of the institution to a student-athlete for work actually performed other than for athletic ability or participation in intercollegiate athletics.”

Athletes will now be able to participate and profit off of activities and promotions such as (but are not limited to) in-person appearances, social media posts, media appearances (talk shows, etc.) and digital/printed materials such as advertisements and billboards.

Representatives and/or boosters will now be recognized as someone who has made a financial contribution to the institute, assist in the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete and/or someone who will provide any kind of benefit to a current student-athlete.

Student-athletes are not allowed to accept payments, provisions or any other type of benefit from boosters and/or the university. Athletic performance cannot be compensated either.

Student-athletes are not prohibited from entering into agreements with separate business entities that are operated by a booster, as long as the agreement is not a payment or provision by the university or by any representative acting on behalf of the university.

Disclosure requirements read as followed:

“A student-athlete must disclose any proposed contract or agreement between a student-athlete and third party 7 days prior to the proposed activity to the Athletics Compliance Office.”

“The disclosure must be input into INFLCR Verified, which will trigger a notification to the UK Athletic Compliance Office to review and approve. This review and approval is solely for compliance with these requirements — it does not constitute an arrangement of the contract or agreement by or at the direction of the University, nor is it a legal review on behalf of the student-athlete. Until the Athletics Compliance Office reviews and approves, the student-athlete may not engage in the proposed activity. In the event the Athletics Compliance Office does not approve, the student-athlete may not undertake the proposed activity.”

“Failure to disclose any contract or agreement may result in loss of eligibility, including suspension from team activities or competition, and/or additional NIL education or training.”

Student-athletes are forbidden to miss class and team activities for anything regarding compensation. University facilities are forbidden to be used during these same activities. 

They also aren’t allowed to use any university trademarks or copyrighted content (logo’s, name of university, mascots, nicknames, etc.) unless an applicable agreement is secured granting the right to use such intellectual property consistent with the University’s current licensing program.

The list of banned endorsements range from the promotion of gambling, marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment, brand-named apparel, sportswear, footwear, during all team activities, providers of higher education (other colleges and universities), health care, and related services.

Failure to abide by these rules may result in loss of eligibility, including suspension from team activities or competition, and/or additional NIL education or training. This policy for NIL will go into effect at midnight on July 1st.