GF Sports Advisors is comprised of a team of Gjording Fouser lawyers who represent and advocate on behalf of collegiate athletes.
In July 2021, the NCAA, for the first time, permitted college athletes to use their own name, image, and likeness (NIL) for their own profit. The NCAA’s reversal of its NIL policy was a sea change in the area of college athletics, but the NCAA, conferences, schools, and some states still place certain limitations on a student athlete’s ability to use their NIL. The NCAA has promulgated a set of interim rules to govern how a student-athlete may use their NIL without jeopardizing their NCAA eligibility. Likewise, athletic conferences and universities have begun to issue their own sets of rules limiting what sort of NIL activities are permitted. Some states have enacted statutes governing NIL activities as well, and federal legislation on NIL is anticipated.
Student athletes wishing to take advantage of their NIL must comply with these rules from the NCAA, their conference, and their school. In addition, NIL deals are, like any other agreement, subject to and interpreted according to state and federal law.
GF Sports Advisors’ goal is to help collegiate athletes capitalize on endorsement deals while working within the confines of rapidly evolving NIL rules and state and federal law. We help our college-athlete clients navigate, understand, and comply with these new NIL rules by providing the following services:
- Contract compliance
- For each of its student athlete clients, GF Sports Advisors prepares a detailed Flag Report that highlights areas of concern that may impact eligibility and working directly with the athlete’s school Compliance Officer.
- Contract negotiation
- GF Sports Advisors use their legal experience to review, analyze, and negotiate the terms of NIL contracts on behalf of their student athletes to maximize the benefit to the student athlete.
- Education on NIL policies and any changes in state or federal law
- GF Sports Advisors work to stay on the cutting edge of developments in NCAA, conference, and school policy, as well as applicable state and federal law.
Many schools have started providing their student-athletes with access to apps such as Opendorse and INFLCR. These apps show student-athletes endorsement opportunities and help them verify compliance when they obtain an endorsement. GF Sports Advisors is different than these apps and services because we provide detailed oversight that is highly tailored to the student-athlete’s university and respective sport. For example, our lawyers recently flagged a hidden pay-for-play policy in an NIL proposal -saving that student-athlete from risking his NCAA eligibility. In addition, GF Sports Advisors are all Idaho natives who can use their local knowledge and connections to maximize Idaho student athletes’ NIL deals.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Currently, Idaho is not one of the 24 states which have passed NIL specific laws. An Idaho student athlete’s ability to enter NIL deals is governed by the rules and regulations of the NCAA, the athlete’s athletic conference, and the athlete’s school, in addition to state and federal law.
GF Sports Advisors can provide NCAA student athletes:
- A comprehensive plan for maximizing the ability to profit off your name, image, and likeness.
- In depth contract oversight personalized to the student-athlete’s sport, including a flag report outlining any potential provisions that may jeopardize NCAA eligibility.
- Contract drafting, legal advice, and negotiation with businesses or third parties who present NIL opportunities.
- Act as a liaison between the student-athlete and university compliance departments.
- Provide legal representation to student-athletes who are not justly compensated under terms of a contract with businesses or third parties.
- First and foremost, GF Sports Advisors are lawyers. We know the law, and importantly, Idaho law.
- Through our extensive contract oversight service, we find issues that standardized apps or Compliance Departments might overlook.
- For example, we provided contract oversight for a student-athlete that was specific to the athlete’s sport and found a hidden “pay-for-play” policy. Without our services, this student athlete might have entered into an agreement that jeopardized the athlete’s eligibility.
- GF Sports Advisors works with a student athlete’s Compliance Department. A Compliance Department’s main goal is to maintain institutional control over its athletics programs to ensure that they are operating consistently with NCAA, conference, and university rules and regulations. Those same rules and regulations often dictate a student-athlete’s eligibility. GF Sports Advisors shares the goal of complying with applicable rules and regulations but with a special focus on the student-athlete’s eligibility. GF Sports Advisors always recommends that the Compliance Department remain involved and aware of any potential NIL deals.
- GF Sports Advisors goes a step further – not only ensuring that an NIL deal complies with NCAA, conference, and University rules – but also reviewing, analyzing, and negotiating contract terms to best protect the student athlete and to maximize the benefit to the student athlete. GF Sports Advisors will explain contract terms and their impact to the student athlete so that that student athlete is equipped to make the best decision for themselves.