NIL: Examining the College Athlete’s ability to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness through their lens and stories
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
John R Affleck, Thesis Supervisor James Ford Risley, Honors Advisor
NIL College Athletics NCAA Sports Journalism Football Penn State Athletics Penn State Basketball Hockey Gymnastics soccer Talent Agency Supreme Court Interview Advice
This thesis examines how recent changes to collegiate athletics, allowing players to earn compensation for their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) has changed the landscape of college sports generally. What was once considered rule breaking by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is now commonplace. At all levels of college athletics, student-athletes can use their earnings for their families and futures, including those whose athletic careers will conclude following graduation. NIL allows student-athletes to have more incentive to compete at the collegiate level. For athletes with prospects for a professional career, NIL provides the opportunity to stay in college longer as they make money and work toward a degree.
For this thesis, Penn State University student-athletes shared their perspectives on NIL, insights that are only really known by those most affected by it. These interviews shed light on how NIL is working out in practice. Universities and athletic organizations must carefully consider the potential positives and negatives of NIL to create a fair system that supports the needs of all involved parties.