2. Beyond NIL: Will College Sports Become a Free Market?


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The new era of name, image, and likeness in college sports has seen rapid change. For instance, initially athletes were signing deals directly with brands and companies. Now, so-called “NIL collectives” are amassing multi-million-dollar funds to attract star recruits. Critics say these funds are being used as back-door recruiting inducements which violate the NCAA’s interim NIL policy.

Many college coaches and administrators have complained that the interim policy is vague and unenforceable. But that may be just the beginning thanks to several new cases progressing in both federal court and at the National Labor Relations Board. Either could potentially alter the landscape even further—making college sports a completely free market or redefining some college teams as employees of the schools they play for.

In the final episode of our two-part series on NIL in college sports we speak with:

  • Stewart Mandel, editor-in-chief of college football coverage at the Athletic.
  • Jeffery Kessler, co-executive chairman at Winston and Strawn, and co-lead counsel for the athletes in NCAA vs. Alston.
  • Ekow Yankah, professor of Law at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law and author of “Is NIL Destroying College Sports.”
  • Audrey Anderson, chair of the higher education practice group at Bass Berry & Sims.

46 episodes