The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: Breakout Players, Playmakers, And More

Virginia Tech
How does Virginia Tech factor into the NIL world? (Ivan Morozov)

1) For the NIL, I understand that essentially the “boosters” (whether individual or businesses) can pay whatever NIL they want. That said, the current realignment is being driven by TV money and other money going directly to the conference and paid into the individual University athletic departments. Can the athletic departments themselves (Virginia Tech) offer NIL as part of recruiting? – mjfhokie

Chris Coleman: No, athletic departments can not put money into NIL funds. Money has to come from the outside. Either a business hires a player directly or regular fans donate to an NIL collective (such as Commonwealth NIL). The athletic department, such as Virginia Tech, can help the players and point them in the right direction, but they can’t be involved in the actual deals, and certainly no athletic department funds can be used.

Those are the basics. Beyond that, there are a variety of state laws across the country that impact NIL and govern what schools are actually able to do to a certain extent. I’m the wrong guy to ask about that. It’s so big that I can’t really grasp it. I suppose I could grasp it, but then I’d have to dedicate most of my time to reading the laws, which in turn would mean that I’d have to stop talking about things like Virginia Tech sports for awhile. I’m a heck of a lot better at talking about sports than I am talking about lawyer stuff, so I’ll just stick to what I’m good at.

For those of you who can actually understand this stuff, click here for a good link. Things are different in every state. For example, here’s a description of what Pennsylvania has done…

“One of the most efficient legislative efforts made at the turn of the rule change came from Pennsylvania, which became one of the only June 30 adopters of policy. The state law in governance, however, does outline restrictions for student-athletes on traditional vice industries and gives the discretion to the schools in regard to school IP use in NIL activities.”

So I guess that means that a college athlete from Pennsylvania can sign on with a gambling site, while maybe athletes in some other states can’t?

Here’s what it says for Virginia…

“A second example of a state without a law on the books making a late push towards legislation, Virginia became the 30th state to enact an NIL law in the country. However, in the same action which passed SB 223, the Governor vetoed House Bill 1298 which was proposed legislation on NIL prohibiting activities for high school athletes.”

That doesn’t really tell me anything.

I can tell you that Louisiana has apparently given in-state schools a lot more power in terms of NIL than the other states. Now LSU’s employees can actually work for NIL groups and directly take part in negotiations, and apparently boosters can be heavily involved as well. The law also says that all NIL deals should be confidential, meaning we’ll probably never know how much LSU players are making. Click here for a further read on that.

As you can see, NIL is a really difficult thing to grasp. Nobody can ever fully understand it, unless it’s a lawyer who dedicates themself to being an NIL expert.

Jaden Keller

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