Lincoln Memorial University Law Review Archive


Jordan Allen

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Since the beginning of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) formation, student-athletes have been prohibited from profiting off their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”). After years of lawsuits, the United States Supreme Court narrowly sided with student-athletes in _NCAA v. Alston_, holding that the NCAA violated the law by limiting the education-related benefits that schools could offer to student-athletes. While this holding was important, the most significant aspect of this opinion derives from Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s concurrence, which stated that the NCAA is not above the law. The release of this opinion created a ripple effect in which many states enacted legislation allowing student-athletes to be compensated for their NIL. As of today, no federal laws have been enacted to regulate this market, and state laws vary from state to state. As one might expect, this has created an unlevel playing field among student-athletes in different states. Moreover, another issue has arisen, and it goes by the name of “collective.” This note proceeds in four sections. First, it outlines the history of the NCAA and how it became what it is today. It then discusses the NCAA’s laws as well as state laws surrounding student-athlete compensation. The note then focuses on collectives, explaining what they are, how they impact college sports, and the issues that often arise through them. Lastly, this note concludes by proposing federal legislation that attempts to aid in regulating the NIL market, specifically collectives.

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