Knight Commission Initiatives on the Use of College Athletes’ Name, Image and Likeness

The Knight Commission released principles to guide the development of rules allowing college athletes to receive compensation from non-institutional sources for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL) fifteen months prior to historic NCAA NIL rule changes. In January 2024, two and a half years later, the NCAA adopted some of the athlete protections and requirements that were among the Knight Commission principles. Concepts similar to other Knight Commission principles (e.g., independent oversight entity, appropriate guardrails, uniformity) continue to be examined in draft federal legislation.


An Introduction to Name, Image and Likeness Rules for College Athletes

Narrated by two former college sports stars, Elizabeth Beisel and David Robinson, this four-minute video explains upcoming rule changes that will allow college athletes to earn compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). The video also outlines principles from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for guiding the development of athletes’ NIL opportunities by the NCAA, lawmakers and others. Beisel, a World Champion and Olympic medalist, swam for the University of Florida. Robinson is an NBA Hall of Famer, Olympic gold medalist and played basketball at the U.S. Naval Academy. (Video produced in April 2020)

Knight Commission Webinar on NIL Proposals Featuring U.S. Rep. Gonzalez and College Sports Leaders

On June 4, 2020, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics held a webinar to assess the NCAA’s proposal allowing college athletes to earn money for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) and to evaluate key differences with recommendations made by other groups. The session focused on issues such as compliance with fair market value, the confusion around group endorsement opportunities and ways to achieve uniformity, either through Congress or the Uniform Law Commission. The expert panel included Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who is working on an NIL bill, Val Ackerman, Gabe Feldman and Tom McMillen.

View the associated webinar kit and press release.


Statement from Amy P. Perko, CEO, Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics on Proposed NCAA Changes to Name, Image and Likeness Rules for College Athletes

April 29, 2020

This is the start of a new era for college sports — one that provides even greater opportunity to college athletes than ever before. Athletes will learn that with opportunity comes responsibility, bringing yet another important educational experience.

It’s good to see the NCAA advancing principles similar to those proposed earlier this month by the Knight Commission’s experts of college presidents and athletes.

Knight Commission Principles and Examples Released on April 6, 2020



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