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How NIL is Changing the Game for Student-Athletes in Michigan

Written by: Therese (she/her)

2 min read | Published: March 5, 2024

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Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is a term that refers to the right of college athletes to profit from their own personal brand, such as endorsing products, appearing in commercials, or creating content on social media platforms. Since July 2021, the NCAA has allowed student athletes to participate in NIL opportunities without jeopardizing their eligibility for scholarships. This has created a new source of income and empowerment for many college athletes across the country, especially in Michigan.

Michigan is one of the states that has passed legislation to protect the NIL rights of student athletes and prevent any interference from schools or athletic associations. House Bill 4816, which was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives in October 2023, would restrict high schools and athletic conferences from preventing student athletes from profiting from NIL deals. The bill is awaiting approval from the Michigan State Senate and Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan is also home to some of the most successful and popular college sports programs in the nation, such as Michigan State University, who has produced many star athletes that have attracted lucrative NIL deals from various companies and brands. For example, in 2022 Taiyier Parks, a women’s basketball player at Michigan State, signed a deal with MSU Federal Credit Union and used her extra income to improve her living situation and buy gifts for her family.

The financial impact of NIL for student athletes in Michigan is significant, as it allows them to earn more money from their talents and passions, while also pursuing their academic goals and athletic dreams. However, NIL also comes with some challenges and responsibilities, such as managing taxes, budgeting, negotiating contracts, and complying with federal and institutional financial aid regulations and policies. Therefore, student athletes need to be educated and supported by their schools, coaches, advisors, and mentors on how to navigate the NIL landscape and make smart decisions for their future.

NIL is a game-changer for student athletes in Michigan, as it gives them more opportunities, autonomy, and recognition for their hard work and dedication on and off the field. As the NIL market continues to grow and evolve, student athletes will continue to adapt and balance their roles as students, athletes, and entrepreneurs.


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