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How will BYU’s Honor Code affect athletes seeking NIL compensation?

Brigham Young Cougars players high-five the fans after the Boca Raton Bowl. BYU set its own name, image and likeness policies for its student-athletes.
Brigham Young Cougars players high-five the fans after the Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Fla., on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. With student-athletes being able to benefit from their name, image and likeness under a new NCAA ruling, BYU set its own NIL policies for its student-athletes.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

With college student-athletes being allowed to benefit from their name, image and likeness due to an interim NCAA policy, BYU announced Thursday it has set forth policies for its own student-athletes.

“This is terrific news for our student-athletes, and we are excited for them to be able to capitalize on their name, image and likeness,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “We’re eager to assist our student-athletes as much as we can with the opportunities ahead, and we have policies and processes in place to help make sure they’re staying compliant and not putting themselves in problematic situations.”

This comes after BYU recently announced the Built4Life program, which aims at helping students capitalize on NIL opportunities.

BYU’s NIL policies

Among BYU’s NIL policies for student-athletes, the school said that any compensation must be within fair market value, and that student-athletes shall not be compensated for athletic achievements (i.e., pay for play.) Also, student-athletes must have the NIL agreements reviewed by BYU’s athletics administration prior to engaging in NIL activities.

Other BYU policies include:

BYU’s Honor Code

  • BYU student-athletes are not allowed to enter into NIL agreements with any business that does not conform with the school’s Honor Code. Some examples the school gave include companies involving alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, coffee, etc.
  • Student-athletes must also adhere to the Honor Code’s dress and grooming standards when participating in NIL opportunities.

Use of BYU related marks or logos, and school facilities

  • Student-athletes must secure the right to use BYU or athletic department marks and logos, including uniforms, in NIL activities through a formal agreement. “While you may not use marks or logos in your NIL activities right now, additional information on how to secure such rights is forthcoming,” the school said.
  • No BYU facilities, including its athletic department facilities, will be allowed in NIL activities “at this time.”

What’s next

Athletic administrators from the school will meet with its teams over the next several days to go over these policies and address any questions the athletes may have.

“Today is a most auspicious occasion. With the passage of interim NIL policies, our student-athletes now have the opportunity to maximize their earning potential in a variety of areas, from marketing deals to endorsements to monetizing their online presence,” said Gary Veron, BYU associate athletic director for student-athlete experience, in a statement. “I am thrilled to support BYU student-athletes as they begin laying the groundwork of building their personal brands. Our Built4Life program is prime to help ensure that money earned through NIL deals becomes a tool for future financial success. The college athletic landscape will never be the same, and we are ready to embrace these exciting changes.”