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Name, Image, Likeness

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University of South Carolina Guidelines

Below are University of South Carolina guidelines related to Name, Image and Likeness (“NIL”) activities. South Carolina law S. 685 – “Intercollegiate Athletes’ Compensation for Name, Image, or Likeness” was suspended on July 1, 2022 for a one year period. During this one-year period, the following University of South Carolina guidelines will govern all NIL activities of University of South Carolina student-athletes.

The following guidelines apply to student-athletes upon enrollment at the University of South Carolina.

NIL related questions may be directed to Hilary Cox, Associate Athletics Director for Administration, at coxha@mailbox.sc.edu.

NIL Activities

Student-athletes at the University of South Carolina may earn compensation for their name, image, or likeness. These activities include but are not limited to autograph signings, personal appearances, social media endorsements, camps/clinics, private lessons, and promoting a commercial product or service.

Student-athletes may not participate in NIL activities that take place during official team activities or conflict with a student athletes’ academic obligations. NIL activities may occur during free time as designated by the team’s official travel or practice itinerary or academic schedule.

Definitions

Official Team Activities: activities relating to practices, competitions, games, exhibitions, scrimmages, institutional athletic media appearances, university sponsored camps, team meetings, team travel, interviews, or any sponsored university function being attended by the team

Academic Obligations: student-athlete obligations referring to class, tutors, exams or any other required academic responsibilities as deemed required by the university Athletic boosters may create or facilitate NIL compensation opportunities to current and prospective student-athletes provided those deals are not used as a recruiting inducement or inducement to remain enrolled for current student-athletes at University of South Carolina.

Only designated staff members may be involved in your NIL Activities (designated staff members shall not include coaches). Staff members that are not designated to participate in NIL activities must direct all inquiries to the designated staff members.

Student-athletes should disclose all NIL activities prior to the activity occurring through the University’s designated system – INFLCR. Failure to disclose an NIL activity in advance could result in eligibility consequences.

Compensation/Financial Aid

A student-athlete’s scholarship awarded by the University of South Carolina is not considered compensation and may not be revoked or reduced because of a permissible NIL agreement.

A student-athlete’s compensation earned may be used in the calculation for need-based financial aid available to the general student population based on federal guidelines, and therefore, could impact the amount of need-based aid a student-athletes is awarded.

International Student-Athletes

Due to federal guidelines, student-athletes attending the University of South Carolina on an F-1 visa are encouraged to contact International Student Services prior to participating in any name, image, likeness activities.

Use of Intellectual Property

Student-athletes may use University of South Carolina intellectual property only with prior written approval of the University of South Carolina Athletics Department. Student-athletes may autograph and sell officially licensed memorabilia that includes University marks that is purchased by the student-athletes from official licensees.

The University of South Carolina retains all rights to content produced or published by the University or associated entities.

Use of Facilities

NIL activities are prohibited in University of South Carolina facilities unless approved through the standard facility rental process. Note that permission to use the facility does not constitute permission to use University of South Carolina intellectual property. Designated staff members may use institutional facilities for the facilitation of NIL activities.

Education

The University of South Carolina will provide student-athletes with both required and optional targeted education opportunities regarding NIL including, life skills, career development, and financial literacy to best prepare student-athletes for this landscape.

Student-Athlete Agent Representation

Student-athletes may secure representation such as an agent or marketing representative for NIL activities. The prior NCAA guidelines on professional representation remain and student-athletes may not secure representation for future professional athletic contract negotiations.

Agents or marketing representatives must abide by the Uniform Athlete Agents Act and register with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

Agents or marketing representatives should register with the Athletics Department prior to entering into a representation agreement with any student-athlete at the University of South Carolina.

Student-athletes are responsible for ensuring their representation has registered with both the state of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina Athletics Department.

More Information

  • Use of Marks/Intellectual Property Toggle content

    An intercollegiate athlete shall not use University of South Carolina registered trademarks, products protected by copyright, or official logos, marks, colors without the written approval of the University of South Carolina Department of Athletics (UofSCAD).

    The rules for such use of University of South Carolina institutional marks shall be as follows:

    1. Merchandise & Memorabilia: An intercollegiate athlete may autograph and sell items with University of South Carolina institutional marks without prior approval, generally. However, intercollegiate athletes cannot autograph or sell items issued, owned, or controlled by UofSCAD.
    2. Use of University of South Carolina Institutional Marks as an endorsement by University of South Carolina Athletics Department: Intercollegiate athletes shall not be allowed to use, or permit third parties to use, institutional marks in connection with such NIL activities if such use constitutes or implies a direct or indirect endorsement by the University of South Carolina of such third party (even if the third party is a school partner and already has rights to use school marks). Intercollegiate athletes, their agents, and/or the third parties must obtain prior written consent from UofSCAD for any such use as an endorsement.
    3. Use of University of South Carolina Institutional Marks in Conjunction with Intercollegiate Athlete Appearances: Intercollegiate athletes, their agents, and/or third parties must obtain prior written consent from UofSCAD for use of any institutional mark in connection with appearances associated with NIL activities.

    An intercollegiate athlete may request use of intellectual property, including but not limited to official logos, marks, colors, by using the NIL Use of Marks Request Form. This form must be submitted no later than five (5) business days prior to the event or activity. Any request submitted after this deadline shall be denied. The completed request form should be submitted to Eric Nichols, Executive Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Branding at enichols@mailbox.sc.edu.

    Helpful Links

    University of South Carolina Athletics Trademark Licensing

  • Use of Institutional Facilities Toggle content

    NIL activities are prohibited in University of South Carolina facilities unless approved through the standard facility rental process. Note that permission to use the facility does not constitute permission to use University of South Carolina intellectual property. Designated staff members may use institutional facilities for the facilitation of NIL activities.

    Helpful Links

    UofSC Athletics Facility Rental Guidelines

  • Marketing Agents Toggle content

    Student-athletes may secure representation such as an agent or marketing representative for NIL activities. The prior guidelines on professional representation stay in place and student-athletes may not secure representation for future professional athletic contract negotiations. All athlete agents representing student-athletes from the University of South Carolina must comply with federal and state regulations surrounding athlete agents and their activities.

    As a reminder, representation for any purpose other than for the marketing of your name, image, or likeness will jeopardize your athletics eligibility. If you intend to remain eligible for intercollegiate athletics, any representation by an agent, attorney, marketing representative, brand manager, etc. should be solely limited to the marketing of your name, image, or likeness. You should contact the Office of Compliance Services with any questions.

    Student-athletes are responsible for ensuring all individuals hired to represent them in name, image, likeness activities are registered with both the University of South Carolina and the State of South Carolina.

    University of South Carolina Registration

    UofSC guidelines say that all agents or marketing representatives should register with the Athletics Department prior to entering into a representation agreement with any student-athlete at the University of South Carolina. The Agent Registration Form must be completed and returned to Hilary Cox – coxha@mailbox.sc.edu – prior to entering into an agreement with the student-athlete.

    State of South Carolina Registration

    The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) oversees the Athlete Agent registration process in the state of South Carolina. The Uniform Athlete Agents Act, originally enacted in 2004, was updated in 2018. It requires anyone engaging in certain activities with or on behalf of student athletes to file for a registration as an athlete agent with the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.

    An athlete agent is defined by SCDCA as an individual who enters into an agency contract with a student athlete or, directly or indirectly, recruits or solicits a student athlete to enter into an agency contract. The term includes an individual who represents to the public that the individual is an athlete agent. The term does not include an individual acting solely on behalf of a professional sports team or professional sports organization.

    An athlete agent may not contact athletes until they register, but the student can make the first contact with the agent. If the student initiates the communication, the agent must register within seven days after acting as an “agent.” At no time can an unregistered agent enter into a contract with a student.

    Helpful Links

    Uniform Athlete Agents Act

    South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs

    Current SCDCA Registered Athlete Agent List

  • International Student-Athletes Toggle content

    Due to federal guidelines, student-athletes attending the University of South Carolina on an F-1 visa are encouraged to contact International Student Services prior to participating in any name, image, likeness activities. Engaging in NIL activities without proper guidance may conflict with visa/ immigration requirements.

  • Gamecock Exchange Toggle content

    Powered by INFLCR, the Gamecock Exchange is a student-athlete NIL business registry, custom-designed for businesses, donors, alumni, and any other interested NIL dollars wishing to connect with student-athletes. Registered businesses can search, filter and initiate conversations with your student-athletes to discuss an NIL deal. Once the NIL deal between a registered business and your student-athlete is completed, the business will use the Gamecock Exchange to create a transaction that will produce a direct payment to the student-athlete and automate a disclosure to the INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger. The institution does not have to get involved in the deal and all transactions within the local exchange are consolidated into one 1099 at the end of the year for easier tax reporting purposes for registered businesses and athletes.

    Helpful Links

    Gamecock Exchange

  • Contact Information Toggle content

    All NIL related questions can be directed to Hilary Cox, Associate AD for Administration – coxha@mailbox.sc.edu.

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