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Are you an NCAA student-athlete with Name, Image & Likeness (“NIL”) questions?

| Jul 4, 2021 | Firm News

With the NCAA’s recent change to allow student-athletes to receive compensation for the use of their NIL while still participating in intercollegiate sports, many student-athletes have questions regarding which type and level of compensation is appropriate for the use of their NIL and what type of license should they grant to entities seeking to use their NIL.

Our managing partner, Terry Coates, is a former NCAA football athlete and is Ohio’s leading NIL attorney. He’s working with current NCAA athletes to ensure his clients receive just compensation while ensuring the license granted to the paying entity is tailored (usually limited) as necessary.

Over 10 Years of Fighting on Behalf of NCAA Athletes to Protect Their NILs

Terry has worked with high school, college, professional, and retired athletes over the past decade, including acting as one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the landmark NCAA athlete NIL case, In re NCAA Student-Athletes Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, United States District Court, Northern District of California; see also O’Bannon v. NCAA, 802 F.3d 1049 (9th Cir. 2015) (Terry was personal counsel for NCAA, Olympic, and NBA legend Oscar Robertson and worked on discovery responses for NBA legend Bill Russell; the case resulted a $40 million settlement with Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company and the Court issuing a permanent injunction against the NCAA for unreasonably restraining trade in violation of antitrust law). This case was the precursor to the recent NCAA v. Alston decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 21, 2021, which compelled the NCAA to allow NCAA athletes to be compensated for the use of their NIL.

We’ve Handled All Different Types of Athletes’ NIL Usage

Since fighting for NCAA athletes’ right to control their NIL and be adequately compensation for it in the In re NCAA Student-Athletes Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation case, Terry has worked with athletes in protecting their NIL, including but not limited to, negotiating,

  • Annual trading card contracts where the athlete’s NIL was used on a set number of trading cards with one of the world’s largest trading card producers;
  • Apparel contracts where some of the nation’s largest apparel companies sought the use the athletes NIL on shirts, shorts, and on posters;
  • Appearance contracts with NBA teams, NCAA schools, and local businesses where the athlete appeared at certain events where Terry ensured the athletes’ best interests were protected at all times;
  • Speaking engagement contracts with NCAA schools where the athletes was scheduled to speak for a set number of minutes before an arena of attendees with a meet and greet to follow;
  • Consulting contracts where certain business entities sought the athlete’s public support for certain changes to legislation within the State of Ohio and nationally;
  • Many autograph signing appearance contracts where the athlete was paid a set price per item autographed depending on the size and surface of the item and whether any acronyms accompanied the autograph (HOF, MVP, POY, etc.); and,
  • Television commercial contracts where the athlete’s NIL was used by an international apparel brand.

Terry was intimately involved in protecting athletes’ NIL including ensuring all travel arrangements were negotiated including transportation service to and from airports, ensuring appropriate seating accommodations on commercial flights, ensuring daily itineraries were set for any appearance including pre-determining the type of food and drink that had to be prepared for the athlete at set times, and ensuring the athletes had the ability to review and consent to any advertising bearing their NIL before it was disseminated to the public.

Contact Us Today

Terry, along with Bill Markovits, another Markovits, Stock & DeMarco attorney stand ready to speak with NCAA athletes to ensure the athletes’ interests are being protected through any NIL contracts with third parties. Bill, a former NCAA tennis player and tennis sports agent, also has litigated cases against the NCAA and understands the unique interests athletes must protect in any NIL agreements.

Please contact us for a free, no-cost consultation if you need assistance protecting your NIL and/or receiving appropriate compensation for the use of your NIL: [email protected] or [email protected]  or (513) 665-0204. We look forward to speaking with you.