December 12, 2023

Protecting Student-Athletes from Harmful NIL Deals

In a recent episode of the Front Office Sports Today podcast, star UCLA quarterback Chase Griffin said, “It’s up to [colleges] to provide that protection for their athletes – because it’s in the school’s best interest to protect their prestige.” He knows what he’s talking about, having secured over 30 deals with brands seeking to promote their products and services with his name, image, and likeness. To help offer the kind of safeguarding for student-athletes that Griffin is urging, schools need a platform like INFLCR.

Since the NCAA first implemented its NIL Interim Policy, student-athletes have had the opportunity to build personal brands and make money from their name, image, and likeness. But despite the potential revenue streams, handling new opportunities can prove problematic. Communicating back and forth, managing proposals, and getting compensated in a compliant manner are all challenging when there is no system in place. And they can create tax and eligibility issues for individuals and jeopardize compliance at the schools they attend.

A solution such as INFLCR, which centralizes all NIL-related contacts, messages, payments, and reporting, can help overcome these challenges. One of the ways it does so is by enabling colleges and universities to actively protect their student-athletes from being exploited by bad partnerships.

“The INFLCR Exchange enables a school to verify or deny brands that are trying to work with student-athletes,” said Sean Kelly, INFLCR general manager. “This can happen as soon as the business creates a profile on the platform. This allows the NIL director to protect their student-athletes and ensure they only team up with legitimate brands.”

With new NCAA regulations allowing student-athletes to make NIL deals directly with companies – either individually or via the exchange in INFLCR – athletes and their agents have more freedom to negotiate their own sponsorships directly. But doing so can lead to issues with income tax and potentially compromise eligibility if an athlete flouts NCAA rules.

“With INFLCR, schools can see every NIL deal that’s self-reported by student-athletes or accepted via the exchange,” Kelly said. “This helps safeguard individuals, ensures specific sports programs are complying with NCAA rules, and gives the NIL director and their team greater visibility.”

In addition to ensuring all NIL-related income is clearly and transparently reported, INFLCR assists student-athletes with tax reporting.

“INFLCR integrates with Stripe so brands can pay their NIL student-athletes securely, and the platform logs every payment,” Kelly said. “Our partnership with Intuit makes it simpler for student-athletes to complete their taxes quickly and in a compliant way.”

To learn more about how INFLCR can help your NIL team better protect student-athletes, click here.

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