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Gov. Glenn Youngkin Signs Legislation That Clarifies Guidelines on Name, Image and Likeness


Gov. Glenn Youngkin has a word with ODU's Dr. Ron Moses during signing ceremony

RICHMOND, VA. – Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill into law on Thursday that will strengthen and clarify rules and regulations for student-athletes receiving compensation for their Name Image and Likeness at Virginia colleges and universities.
Both the original NIL legislation signed in 2022 and the latest legislation were passed with broad bi-partisan support in the State Senate and House of Delegates.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the NCAA could not prohibit athletes from negotiating NIL compensation, the NCAA has failed to enact a comprehensive set of NIL rules and guidelines. Virginia colleges now have a uniform set of guidelines thanks to the state legislation.

Republican Delegates Terry L. Austin and Terry G. Kilgore, who co-sponsored the bill, worked closely with Virginia's college and universities in crafting the updated legislation, which goes into effect in November. Virginia Beach Democratic Senator Aaron Rouse worked closely with his Republican colleagues to plush the legislation forward. 
Dr. Wood Selig, ODU's director of athletics, thanked Gov. Youngkin and the state legislature for their efforts.
"We really appreciate the time and effort the Governor and so many other leaders across the commonwealth invested  in this process," Dr. Selig said. "We wanted clarity from the commonwealth relative to institutional NIL permissible activity and we're really pleased with the legislation the Governor signed."
He also thanked officials at the University of Virginia, who took the lead in working with state officials to get the NIL legislation updated. UVA officials worked closely with officials from ODU and other Virginia Division I schools as they worked on the legislation.
The legislation allows universities to be more permissive in how NIL funds are distributed. Athletic departments conceivably could begin to compensate athletes directly.
But Dr. Selig said he is comfortable with how ODU is currently handling the NIL process and foresees no immediate changes.
By design, ODU athletics does not get involved in negotiating NIL deals.  The Pride of ODU is a private organization that was formed by friends and alumni of the university to facilitate NIL deals with student athletes.
The Pride of ODU negotiates NIL compensation for student-athletes. ODU student-athletes may enter NIL deals with private groups that aren't affiliated with the Pride of ODU, but previous legislation required those deals be reported to institutions before they are consummated.
The legislative update forbids schools from using student athletic fees to fund NIL deals. Dr. Selig said that is something ODU has never done, 'nor would we ever consider doing," he said. 
ODU does not use any athletic revenue, including ticket, advertising or TV revenue, donations made to the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation or student fees, for NIL deals. All NIL compensation comes from private donations and corporations that are not directly controlled by the university.
Previous legislation stipulated that athletes cannot participate in NIL deals that promote alcohol, adult entertainment, casinos or gambling, weapons, drugs or tobacco.
The new legislation also requires that NIL deals be kept confidential.
Dr. Selig said he is hopeful that Congress will eventually take up the NIL issue and draft legislation to create a uniform NIL process in all 50 states.
"Ultimately, that is what is needed to bring order in what has otherwise been a chaotic situation," he said.

Delegate Terry Kilgore celebrates signing of new NIL legislation with ODU mascot Big Blue.  

Some questions and answers about the NIL and what the new legislation could mean for ODU and its athletes:
Q: Are Virginia colleges and universities required to pay student-athletes for their name, image or likeness?
A: No. The Virginia name, image or likeness law is permissive and provides Virginia colleges and universities discretion to compensate student-athletes for their name, image or likeness.
Q: Are student fees going to be used to pay student-athletes for their name, image or likeness?
A: The Virginia name, image and likeness law expressly prohibits student fees from being used to pay student-athletes for their name, image or likeness.
Q: How can Virginia colleges and universities assist student-athletes with name, image and likeness activities?
A: The Virginia name, image and likeness law allows Virginia colleges and universities to educate student-athletes about name, image and likeness issues and identify, create, negotiate, facilitate, support, engage with, assist with, or otherwise enable a name, image, or likeness opportunities for student-athletes.
Q: Is compensation for name, image and likeness opportunities considered pay-for-play?
A: No. It's considered compensation for the proprietary interest in a student-athlete's name, image or likeness.
Q: Can a student-athlete be penalized for participating in name, image and likeness activities pursuant to the Virginia name, image and likeness law?
A: The Virginia name, image and likeness law provides student-athletes protections for engaging in name, image and likeness activity pursuant to the law.
Q: Does the Virginia name, image and likeness law allow contributions to a collective?
A: Nothing in the Virginia name, image or likeness law prevents individuals or entities from contributing to a collective to support name, image or likeness opportunities.
Q: What impact will the Virginia name, image and likeness law have on Olympic and non-revenue generating sports?
A: The Virginia name, image and likeness law can greatly benefit student-athletes who participate in Olympic and non-revenue generating sports by increasing the amount of compensation available to student-athletes.