Short for Name, Image, and Likeness, an “NIL” refers to the way college athletes can receive compensation. “Using” an athlete’s NIL would involve a brand leveraging their name, image, and/or likeness through marketing and/or promotional endeavors.
The NCAA officially made it legal for athletes to profit off of their NILs on July 1, 2021. Since this initial passing, states have begun to pass their own laws detailing the rules for athletes that attend colleges in their state. Universities have also begun to produce rules and programs for their student-athletes.