While states are responsible for NIL laws, federal legislation could take years

Austin (KXAN) — Don’t expect any federal legislation any time soon on how college athletes can make money from their name, image and likeness, says an expert in the field.

Aiden Sayal, CEO and co-founder of MOGL, a company that provides technology for athletes and college teams to connect with businesses interested in doing NIL deals, said doing business would make it easier to do business if federal laws were passed, but he didn’t thinks it will happen within at least 2-3 years.

Since the inception of the NIL in 2021, individual states have had to pass laws to allow eligible college athletes to partner with brands and other businesses to secure deals.

“It will happen eventually,” Sial said. “We do not think when this will happen, but from the point of view of Congress, it will probably happen in 2-3 years. There are many things on the board. The original rulings have come and gone, and the sky hasn’t fallen, no matter what the headlines tell you.”

Sayal and MOGL, who work with athletes in Texas, including several from the University of Texas at Austin, said Texas NIL laws are “more regulated” than most state laws. He said some changes to the privacy policy and a new temporary policy on how the collective – a group of people who want to fund NIL deals like booster clubs – work in conjunction with the university has led to changes in how the business is run.

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“Now there are fences, and now collectives and universities are working at a much closer level, following this policy,” Sial said. As an example, he mentioned the Texas One Fund, a sort of UT super-collective after five separate collectives pooled their resources to form it. Horns with Heart, Clark Field Collective, Occupy Left Field, 40 Pack and the National Championship Golf Foundation teamed up in November to create the foundation.

“We wanted to make donations easily accessible to everyone and create a stronger connection with sports programs, athletes and the community. Whether you give $5 million or $5 million, we want to do it for every Longhorn,” said Nick Schuly, founder of Clark Field Collective, of the creation of the Texas One Fund. “Texas has the luxury of having so many organizations willing to help, but we quickly realized the need to bring everyone in the community together.”

UT athletes have taken full advantage of the NIL’s opportunities by making lucrative deals, especially on the football team. Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkeesian said that while he accepts the NIL and the vast resources UT has to offer to put money in the pockets of athletes, he doesn’t want the players to use it as a decision-making tool.

“If you chose to come here because of the NIL, you came here for the wrong reasons,” he told reporters in November after the regular season ended, with recruiting taking center stage. “Our football program, faculty, history and tradition, the city of Austin, there is so much this university has to offer and that’s why I want kids to come here. Then NIL can become a factor.”

Syal and former Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush, who is the top athlete in MOGL, agree that as the NIL gets bigger and evolves with more regulation and structure, it will only get better for athletes and brands alike. . Wimbush compared the NIL to real-life business classes, where athletes gain real-life skills when their playing days are over.

“Now it’s so important to become an entrepreneur, a creative person and a professional outside of your sport,” said Wimbush. “Brands will not want to engage with you if you cannot communicate professionally or add value to their products or services. Athletes understand what it’s like and get a four-year head start.”

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