Approved by:

The President


Issued                -- October 11, 2022

Revised             -- 

Last Reviewed -- 

Related Policies:

Aims of the University

Additional References:

NCAA - NIL InformationNCAA Interim NIL Policy

Policy Owner:

Contact Person:

Vice President for Student Affairs, tel. (202) 319-5619

Associate Vice President / Director of Athletics, (202) 319-5286

I. Background


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) adopted interim guidance that permitted NCAA student-athletes the opportunity to benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness (“NIL”). The NCAA now permits student-athletes to engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located and do not violate NCAA, Division III, athletic conference, and university policies or rules on recruiting. 

II. Definitions

  1.  “Name, image, and/or likeness” (“NIL”) means any and all of the personal identifiers that together constitute the right of publicity, including the student-athlete’s nickname, signature, social media activity, reputation, and any other readily identifiable personal characteristic or trait.
  2. “Name, image and likeness activity” is an activity that involves use of a student-athlete’s name, image or likeness for promotional purposes by a noninstitutional entity, including the student-athlete, a commercial entity or a noninstitutional nonprofit or charitable entity. Such use may be compensated or uncompensated. Student-athletes’ use and monetization of their name, image and likeness may involve a wide range of activities, including but not limited to:
    1. Traditional commercials or advertisements for products or services
    2. Student-athletes developing and promoting their own business
    3. Personal appearances
    4. Student-athletes running their own camps or clinics
    5. Providing private lessons (and using their name or image to promote those lessons)
    6. Sponsored social media posts
    7. Autograph sessions
  3. “Student-athlete” means all currently enrolled student-athletes and committed prospective student-athletes. A committed prospective student-athlete is one who has signed a National Letter of Intent, Celebratory Signing Form, or the Catholic University of America’s (“the University”) written offer of admission and/or financial aid or for whom the University has received a financial deposit in response to the University’s offer of admission.
  4. “Compensation” includes money, goods, services, and other non-monetary consideration.
  5. “Booster” means a “Representative of Athletics Interests or Booster” as defined in NCAA Division III Bylaw 13.02.9. Boosters include any entity with an overall mission to promote and support the University by making available NIL opportunities to prospective student-athletes and student-athletes of the University. 

III. Policy

  1. A student-athlete may capitalize on their own name, image or likeness through publicity and endorsements. A student-athlete may also exercise such right to prevent the use of their name, image or likeness to promote a product or service. Student-athletes may earn compensation for their NIL activity.
  2. NIL is not a pay for play structure. A student-athlete shall not enter into an endorsement contract or NIL contract or otherwise receive compensation for use of the student-athlete's NIL if compensation is contingent upon performance in intercollegiate sports or attendance or enrollment at Catholic University.
  3. Any compensation received by a student-athlete must be commensurate with fair market value and must be in exchange for a service or benefit to the entity providing the compensation. NIL agreements must be based on an independent, case-by-case analysis of the value that each athlete brings to an NIL agreement as opposed to providing compensation or incentives for enrollment decisions, athletic performance, achievement or membership on a team.
  4. Student-athletes who participate in NIL will do so consistent with any applicable District of Columbia, NCAA, Division III or athletic conference requirements.
  5. Student-athletes cannot engage in NIL activities during the course of class or team activities. NIL activities must not interfere with a student-athlete’s academic or athletic obligations. Student-athletes cannot miss class or any mandatory team activities (including practices, competitions, and team travel) for NIL activities.
  6. Student-athletes cannot sell or trade any equipment, apparel, awards or complimentary admissions provided to them by the University as part of any NIL activities.
  7. The University and its employees or contractors are not permitted to be involved in the compensation, development, arrangement, operation, or promotion of NIL activities. The following activities are permitted without triggering impermissible University involvement in a student-athlete’s NIL activity:
    1. Providing NIL general educational programming (but not providing advice about a specific situation).
    2. Assistance with compliance and disclosure expectations related to the University’s compliance obligations.
    3. Reviewing student-athlete NIL contracts for compliance with this policy.
  8. Boosters are not permitted to make direct payments to student-athletes.  
    Boosters are allowed to engage in NIL activity to the same extent as other third parties and if done so consistently with this policy. Student-athletes can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  9. Boosters and institutional coaches must abide by these rules:
    1. An NIL agreement between a prospective or current student-athlete and a booster may not be guaranteed or promised contingent on initial or continuing enrollment at the University.
    2. Institutional coaches and staff may not organize, facilitate or arrange a meeting between a booster and a prospective student-athlete for the purpose of arranging a NIL agreement. 
    3. Institutional coaches and staff may not communicate directly or indirectly with a prospective student-athlete on behalf of a booster for the purpose of arranging a NIL agreement.
  10. A student-athlete may not engage in NIL activities that conflict with NCAA, Division III, athletic conference, or University policies or rules. Prohibited NIL activities include the sponsorship of:
    1. Gambling or sports wagering, and vendors associated with gambling or sports wagering.
    2. Alcohol, and vendors associated with alcohol products.
    3. Tobacco or electronic smoking devices, and vendors associated with tobacco products.
    4. Marijuana, and vendors associated with marijuana products.
    5. Products or services that are illegal.
    6. Firearms.
    7. Anabolic Steroids or other substances that are on the NCAA Banned Substance List.
    8. Activities which are misleading, offensive, or in violation of a statute, law, ordinance, NCAA bylaw or any University contractual obligation.
    9. Activities that appear to create an endorsement by the University of a particular company, product, political candidate or position regarding public policies.
    10. Activities that ridicule, exploit or demean persons based on their age, color, physical or mental disability, national origin, citizenship, veteran status, marital status, race, religion, or sex.
    11. Activities or products contrary to the Catholic mission including, but not limited to, abortion, artificial contraception, euthanasia, and divorce. For reference, see, for example, Catholic University, “Aims of the University.
  11. The University may prohibit a student-athlete from receiving compensation for use of their NIL from entities or individuals that, in the reasonable judgment of the University, negatively impacts or reflects adversely on the University.
  12. The use of institutional logos/marks or other intellectual property owned by the University for any NIL activities is not permitted without the prior written consent and approval of the University.
  13. The use of University facilities (athletics and non-athletics) for NIL activities is not permitted without following campus processes and permissions which includes, but is not limited to, contracts and payment through the University.
  14. A violation of these policies may result in disciplinary action such as the revocation of the student-athlete’s University academic merit scholarship eligibility and up to dismissal from the University.

IV. Additional Considerations

  1. International student-athletes may be limited in their ability to receive compensation for NIL activity by the terms of their visa or other immigration status. Please contact the Division of Student Affairs for additional information.
  2. Compensation from NIL activities may affect grants or need-based financial aid. Questions concerning the impact of such compensation should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
  3. Student-athletes should be aware that income from NIL activities would likely be considered taxable income.
  4. Student-athletes are responsible for their knowledge of and compliance with Federal, State, or District of Columbia laws and NCAA, athletic conference and University policies.  

V. Process

  1. Student-athletes must report all proposed contracts or agreements with third parties for NIL activities to the University’s Department of Athletics ten (10) days before entering into the agreement. Please contact the University’s Department of Athletics for specific processes.
  2. Student-athletes with NIL contracts that were not submitted for review or signed before this policy’s effective date should notify the University’s Department of Athletics.
  3. In order to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the University, each student-athlete acknowledges and agrees to the release included in Appendix A.

Appendix A