NCAA investigating NIL deals of football players at BYU, Miami

Field Level Media

December 11, 2021 at 12:06 am.

The NCAA is investigating name, image and likeness concerns involving football players at BYU and Miami, Sportico reported Friday.

The publication reports that the NIL deals involving those two schools potentially violate marketing rights for college athletes.

Investigators are attempting to determine whether the deals are essentially pay-for-play, which is not allowed under the temporary guidelines set up by the NCAA.

According to the report, BYU’s deal involves a partnership with Built Bar, a protein bar company that provided compensation comparable to the amount of tuition for the academic year to each player on the football team, walk-on players included.

Miami’s deal was reportedly with American Top Team, a South Florida-based Mixed Martial Arts program that reportedly gave a total of $540,000 to 90 players on scholarship.

A Miami spokesman told Sportico the school has not heard from the NCAA. BYU confirmed it has spoken to the NCAA.

“We have communicated with the NCAA concerning the Built Bar NIL arrangement,” BYU associate athletic director for communications Jon McBride told Sportico in a statement. “They have informed us they do not have any additional questions at this time. We will continue to monitor and abide by the NCAA interim NIL policy.”

According to the NCAA’s policy, universities have the right to object to a NIL deal.

“Athletes are expected to understand their school’s NIL policy and keep their school informed of all NIL arrangements,” the policy states. “The best way to ensure student-athletes understand school-specific NIL rules is to work directly with their coaching and the compliance department.”

Earlier this week, NCAA president Mark Emmert told reporters that the entity was investigating possible NIL violations. Emmert didn’t reveal schools.

The NIL industry is in its infancy stage after taking effect on July 1 when the NCAA released a temporary policy. Previously, college athletes were prohibited from accepting compensation of any kind, other than an athletic scholarship.