IU adds Name, Image, and Likeness Task Force

Indiana’s athletic department took another step in what will eventually be a national move toward allowing student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness, announcing Wednesday the formation of a NIL Task Force.

The 14-member group, according to a release, will provide oversight and help student-athletes in “understanding, assessing and capitalizing” on NIL opportunities.

In April, the NCAA Board of Governors recommended an update to rules that prohibit student-athletes from earning name, image and likeness (NIL) income. It is expected that new rules will be adopted in January and athletes will be able to profit off of third-party endorsements, social media, and personal appearances starting in the 2021-22 academic year.

“NIL is an important part of what IU Athletics will do in support of our students for years to come, and we plan to be a leader in this area,” IU athletic director Scott Dolson said in a release.

The task force, chaired by associate athletic directors Becky Pany and Jeremy Gray, includes assistant coaches Tom Ostrom (men’s basketball), Mike Hart (football), Ashley Williams (women’s basketball), Kevin Robson (men’s soccer), and Emily Eaton (swimming). There are also two representatives from the compliance department, Kristin Borrelli and Tyler Harris. Beau Bauer, director of development and major gifts for the Varsity Club, also has a spot on the task force.

Other members include Lynnea Phillips, assistant director of digital and social media, Ash Soni, associate dean at the Kelley School of Business, and Dr. Galen Clavio, director of the National Sports Journalism Center and IU’s Media School.

This isn’t the first move IU has made to ready for upcoming NIL changes. Earlier this month, IU Athletics partnered with the sports tech company Opendorse for its “ready program,” which will help athletes build a social media presence. The company promises to assess IU athletes’ social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, helping schedule posts for maximum reach, flagging potentially “harmful” posts, and comparing a student-athletes’ social media performance compared to others on campus.

The three-year contract with Opendorse cost $75,000, with IU paying an initial sum of $20,000 on Aug. 1.

Soni and Clavio, members of the task force, are also quoted in the release speaking to the roles the IU business and media schools will play in helping student-athletes manage NIL.

“As many of our graduates know, personal brand building is an important component of the Kelley School experience and we are pleased to share our experience to helping IU student athletes successfully present themselves off the field or court,” Soni said. “We teach students how to define themselves, present their values and develop skills needed for their professional lives. Our students, who often mentor each other, will benefit from working with those they usually only cheer for from the sidelines.”

“NIL is an exciting and mutually beneficial partnership area for Indiana Athletics and the Media School,” Clavio said. “As NIL rights for college athletes expand, giving students the tools to effectively manage and leverage media will be a key element of the process.”

2 comments

  1. I worry that this change by the NCAA will fraught with problems but it is good to see IU out in front on implementation. I have no problem with players reaping some of the benefits from the money made from their images but there are many problems that will crop up and steps will have to be taken to correct the problems.

    I hope the players have the money go into a fund that they can have limited access to until they graduate from college or enter into professional sports.

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