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October-November 2022

Of Course There Are Guardrails – NIL and Civil Rights Laws

By Daniel A. Cohen, Alexis F. Trumble

LEAD1 Association

In their second published article for the LEAD1 Association, Dan Cohen and Lexi Trumble discuss Title IX gender equity implications of the “wild west” of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) activities. Title IX provides critical guardrails that, if not respected, could create significant legal risk to colleges and universities, the attorneys explain.

“Regardless of a school’s involvement with (or distance from) NIL activities and payments, the fact remains that each institution — as a recipient of federal funds — is subject to Title IX’s gender equity requirements, especially in the context of institutional efforts to promote and publicize male and female student-athletes. Ultimately, it is crucial that each institution be able to proactively demonstrate that market-based payment differences cannot be attributed to differences in the institution’s social media or other efforts that favor male student-athletes,” Cohen and Trumble caution.

LEAD1 is the nation's Division I Athletic Directors Association. Click here to visit their most recent report.