NFLPA permits NFL agents to represent college football players in NIL marketing agreements, per reports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

College athletes are now allowed to monetize their name, image and likeness (NIL) thanks to an unprecedented NCAA ruling this week, removing restrictions for players to profit from marketing deals. The NFL is already feeling the ripple effects, mild as they may be. According to NFL Network and ProFootballTalk, the NFL Players Association has informed NFL agents they will be permitted to represent college football players in NIL marketing agreements.

NIL deals are “not generally the subject” of NFLPA regulations, a Thursday memo informed agents. So NFL player representatives will be free to engage college athletes in striking such sponsorship or marketing deals. 

“However, under the regulations,” the memo reads, “it is the (agent’s) responsibility to monitor and ensure that they are in full compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, as well as NCAA rules that impact the player’s eligibility. Further, any NIL contracts entered into with college players by (an agent) should be wholly separate from any future … services involving the negotiation of player contracts with NFL teams; for example, an NIL contract should not include any terms that require or condition any NIL terms on the player later hiring that (agent) for NFL contract services.”

The memo concludes by noting that the NFLPA will continue to monitor the evolution of NIL agreements. For now, however, agents’ involvement with college players cannot legally extend beyond NIL marketing representation. Take Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, for example, a projected top 2022 draft prospect who just Thursday announced a sponsorship deal. An NFL agent could technically negotiate future NIL deals for Nix, but only if the agreement doesn’t legally dictate that agent would also represent Nix in the NFL.

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