Article Brief

The NCPA's Official NIL Ratings will help provide clarity for recruits and will encourage states to adopt the best NIL laws for college athletes.

The NCPA was a primary force in the adoption of state name, image, and likeness (NIL) laws nationwide, and helped arrange a lawsuit that helped force the NCAA to lift its ban on college athlete representation and NIL pay.  The NCPA is now providing free NIL ratings to empower recruits and transfers with information about NIL laws that can have a significant effect on their ability to earn NIL pay as a college athlete (link to full access to ratings and highlights below).  There are currently NIL laws in 28 states. 

Depending on which school a college athlete attends, he or she may be sued for an NIL violation, can have up to 75% of sponsorship money given away to others, can be excluded from college sports jersey and video game deals… or he or she may have wide freedoms to engage in many NIL deals without negative consequences.  The NCPA’s NIL ratings will help recruits and transfers navigate these issues.

“We’re in a transitional phase where all college athletes pretty much have some degree of NIL freedom, but our legal rights are all over the place.  The NCPA’s NIL ratings will help give recruits a road map to answer a lot of questions they wouldn’t even know to ask and encourage states like mine to adopt an NIL law,” stated NCPA leader and Iowa basketball captain Jordan Bohannon who helped lead the #NotNCAAProperty protest during the NCAA Tournament to push for athlete NIL freedoms.

Washington State football player and NCPA leader Dallas Hobbs who helped lead a campaign of 500 Pac-12 football players who demanded NIL freedoms and other rights stated, “This will be an important tool for recruits who are making the biggest decision of their lives.  I’m going to continue working to get an NIL law here in the state of Washington.  My school has been good at allowing NIL freedoms, but college athletes’ freedoms should be guaranteed as a matter of law.”

NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma stated, “The NCPA applauds states with NIL laws for taking an important step toward college athletes’ rights.    However, every state has room for improvement.  It's common for states to improve on new laws and the NCPA wants to continue working toward bringing forth NIL laws that maximize rights and freedoms for college athletes.” 

The NCPA is encouraging states to adopt an NIL law that incorporates athletes’ rights in the NCPA’s model state NIL legislation: https://www.ncpanow.org/solutions-and-resources/model-legislation 

How the Ratings Work

The NCPA identified 21 key aspects in state NIL laws that can be either helpful or harmful to college athletes’ freedoms.  A state with an NIL law that is helpful to college athletes in every category would score 100%, while a state without an NIL law or with an NIL law that harms college athletes’ freedoms in all of the categories would score a 0%.  Currently, the states with NIL laws have ratings between 43%-90%.  Colleges in states without an NIL law are likely allowing their athletes to engage in some level of NIL activity.  However, because college athletes in those states are not legally guaranteed NIL rights or freedoms, those states are given a rating of 0%. 

Some Highlights

1st place: New Mexico (90%)

2nd Place: Maryland, Missouri, Oregon (81%)

Last Place: Alabama, Illinois, Mississippi (43%)

Click here for free access to all of the NCPA’s Official NIL Ratings