South Dakota Board of Regents adopt student athletes’ name-image-likeness policy

The policy effectively codifies the NCAA’s rules regarding college athletes ability to be compensated.
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Board of Regents has adopted a policy that allows college athletes to make money on their name, image, and likeness.

According to the policy, athletes can promote a businesses, start camps and clinics, and even make money by doing appearances and signing autographs.

“I think it is important we provide our athletes with guidance and parameters so that they understand what the rules of the rules of the game are,” said Board of Regents General Counsel Nathan Lukkes. “That they have the opportunity to take advantage of the recent shift in name-image-likeness compensation, as well as providing some guardrails to make sure they don’t incidentally stray from what the NCAA allows or doesn’t.”

The policy also state that student-athletes may be represented by an agent, but cannot make money based on their athletic performance.

Additionally, boosters cannot create compensation opportunities as a form of recruitment.

“We want to make sure that the transactions are appropriately structured, and that it is compensation for a service,” explained Lukkes. “That it is the student’s individual name-image-likeness, not that of the institution, or the sports team that they happen to be a part of.”

The change in the NCAA’s policy came after a June 21st United States Supreme court decision, where the court ruled unanimously against the NCAA in an antitrust lawsuit. That ultimately paved the way to the NCAA allowing for student-athletes to be compensated.

Since then, states across the country have been moving to pass legislation or policies that codify the NCAA’s rules.

As the opportunities begin to roll in for South Dakota college athletes, athletic departments and coaches are taking it in stride.

“It is another one of those things the NCAA kind of threw in our laps without much guidance,” said University of South Dakota head football coach Bob Nielson. “Some of our players will, or already have, some of those offers on the table. From a university standpoint, our role is to support them in the way that we can support them.”

It is possible that state lawmakers could further address the issue during the upcoming legislative session. However, the Board of Regents says for now their policies should be sufficient.