Related Policies and Additional References:
1. Philosophy and Educational Resources
St. Mary’s University has always been committed to providing world-class educational opportunities, through both traditional and nontraditional delivery modalities, in addition to championship level athletic opportunities for all students participating in intercollegiate athletics. StMU Athletics’ educational programming and support is designed to help student-athletes reach their highest academic potential and earn a St. Mary’s University degree.
With the NCAA providing guidance to allow student-athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”), StMU Athletics is committed to providing educational opportunities in this area to its student-athletes to empower and prepare them to maximize their opportunity with respect to NIL, while also protecting their NCAA eligibility. StMU Athletics supports student-athletes receiving compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness from sources outside the University in accordance with the guidelines outlined in this policy.
However, StMU Athletics will not create or facilitate NIL compensation opportunities for prospective student-athletes as a recruiting inducement or current student-athlete as an inducement to remain enrolled at StMU. Nor will StMU Athletics contract with or otherwise knowingly allow any institutional partner or contractor to engage in activity that is impermissible for the institution.
Nothing within this policy shall impact the right of StMU to use the name, image, or likeness of student-athletes in accordance with NCAA Bylaws. Student-athletes will continue to participate in institutional promotional activities such as appearances, autograph signings, digital content creation, photo shoots, and similar activities in accordance with existing NCAA rules, but may not be paid by StMU to participate in any such activity.
StMU Athletics is committed to equity in the provision of all permissible institutional services under this policy. Student-athletes are entitled to compensation for NIL activities only from non-institutional entities and not from StMU. StMU Athletics is not responsible for monitoring, overseeing or enforcing equity compliance in opportunities, compensation or other consideration provided by non-institutional entities for NIL activities.
StMU shall have no liability to any student-athlete, non-institutional entity, professional service provider, vendor, contractor, or agent as a result of a student-athlete’s participation in NIL activities.
This is a working policy in a rapidly evolving area and as such will be subject to ongoing review and revision as circumstances, laws and regulations change.
2. NCAA Guidance
The NCAA has adopted guidance governing student-athletes’ NIL activities (the “NCAA Rules”). The NCAA rules provide that a student-athlete is prohibited from (1) receiving pay-for-play and (2) receiving an improper recruiting inducement.
StMU Athletics and our student-athletes must follow the NCAA Rules and this StMU Athletics policy; student-athletes, StMU Athletics staff, or other third parties should consult with the StMU Athletics Compliance Office regarding the NCAA Rules and this policy prior to engaging in NIL activities that involve StMU student-athletes.
3. Name, Image, and Likeness Activities
Subject to the NCAA rules and this StMU Athletics policy, StMU student-athletes may use their NIL in a variety of ways that may include, but is not limited to, promoting their own business, promoting or endorsing a corporate entity (e.g., a brand ambassador or social media influencer); conducting camps, lessons or clinics; making appearances; or signing autographs. StMU student-athletes may receive compensation, either in-kind or monetarily, for engaging in NIL activities, subject to the NCAA rules and this StMU Athletics policy. StMU student-athletes may engage in NIL activities and receive corresponding compensation from University donors and sponsors so long as the compensation is for the NIL activity and is not a recruiting inducement or an inducement to remain enrolled at StMU. Compensation that does not meet this requirement is prohibited by this policy and may lead to a determination of ineligibility to participate in college athletics. Pay for play compensation is prohibited by this policy and may lead to a determination of ineligibility to participate in college athletics.
Student-athletes may enter endorsements or NIL activities with entities that compete with sponsors of StMU. However, such agreement, or any portion thereof, may not conflict with the provisions of any agreement to which StMU is a party. In the event that a potential conflict is identified, StMU shall disclose to the student-athlete or the student-athlete’s attorney or sports agent the provisions of the StMU agreement that are in conflict.
4. Use of Agents or Professional Services
StMU student-athletes can obtain professional advice to assist them with NIL activities such as marketing agents, tax advisors, legal advisors, etc. Student-athletes must pay the normal costs and fees associated with such services. The use of an agent, as defined by NCAA bylaws, may only be used for NIL activities. Any agent must be registered to do business in the state of Texas and register with the StMU Athletics Compliance Office. StMU Athletics encourages its student-athletes to thoroughly vet any such agents or advisors prior to working with them, as StMU Athletics will not be responsible for any agreement or contractual obligation, whether with an agent or other third party.
5. Use of University Intellectual Property
Student-athletes may state that they play “[insert name of sport] at (StMU)” or that they are “a member of the [insert name of sport] at (StMU)” to identify themselves in connection with NIL Activity. However, Student-athletes are not permitted to use StMU’s intellectual property, including its trademarks, logos, or symbols, to either implicitly or expressly endorse a third party or product without the prior written approval of StMU’s Athletics Department. Student-athletes may autograph and sell officially licensed memorabilia that includes University marks. Per NCAA rules, student-athletes may not sell products provided by StMU Athletics or awards received for intercollegiate athletic participation while they are a student-athlete.
6. Team Activities and Academic Obligations
Student-athletes cannot engage in NIL activities during the course of team activities, which include competitions, practices, and team gatherings and meetings. Student-athletes also must not allow NIL activities to interfere with their academic obligations.
7. Facility Use
Student-athletes may, subject to availability and subject to the terms of a facility use agreement, use StMU Athletics’ facilities to conduct camps, clinics, or lessons if the student-athlete pays the standard facility rental rate. Consistent with Section 5 above, student-athletes may not use StMU facilities in such a manner that creates the impression – either express or implied – that StMU expressly or indirectly endorses a third party or product, unless prior written approval is obtained from StMU’s Athletics Department.
8. Restricted Categories
Student-athletes must not use their NIL to endorse alcohol, tobacco products, e-cigarettes or any other type of nicotine delivery device, anabolic steroids, sports betting, casino gambling, a firearm the student‑athlete cannot legally purchase, or a sexually oriented business.
9. Disclosure of NIL Activities
In the course of their education and participation at StMU, student-athletes must disclose any NIL activities to the StMU Athletics Compliance through the NIL Disclosure Form at least seven (7) days prior to entering into an agreement for the proposed activity. This is to ensure the activity does not jeopardize the student-athlete’s eligibility.
10. Financial Implications
Student-athletes should be aware that receiving compensation for NIL activities could have an impact on their financial aid, especially for those receiving need-based aid. Student-athletes are encouraged to consult with the StMU Office of Financial Assistance to fully understand these potential impacts.
Student-athletes are responsible for all tax, withholding, reporting, licenses, permissions, permits, expenses, fees and any other obligations, liabilities or costs associated with NIL Activity.
11. International Student-Athletes
International student-athletes should discuss how receiving compensation may impact their VISA status with the StMU Center for International Programs prior to engaging in NIL activities.