NIL Statement from COIA (April 15, 2021)

Name, image, and likeness (NIL) bills have been passed by several states and there
are various federal legislative bills on the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court will be
making a decision on a lawsuit brought by Alston, regarding anti-trust laws related to
student-athletes earning money beyond their scholarships and other funding through
the athletics departments, which is opposed by the NCAA. There are concerns that NIL
will cause unequal footing between student-athletes competing in revenue-generating
and non-revenue generating sports, as well as in women’s and men’s sports. Because
of the earlier court rulings, COIA accepts NIL as a current reality.

LEAD1, which represents athletic directors of the 130 member universities of the
Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), surveyed 100 FBS athletic directors asking which of
two models were preferred. The first model was a Professional/Commercial type
model, which treats student-athletes as employees; and the second was a Higher
Education model, with the latter favored by 96% of the athletic directors surveyed.

COIA supports the Higher Education model, which gives student-athletes full NIL rights
with regard to their health, safety, and scholarship protection, under Title IX compliance,
without becoming employees of the university. COIA supports the use of third-party
companies to provide educational training on issues associated with NIL, such as how
to handle taxes, contracts, business structure, and due diligence. Because we believe in
student-athletes as students first, our institutions’ academic integrity must not be
compromised. We encourage Faculty Senates to play an active role in NIL decisions
through faculty governance and to monitor the impact of these changes on their
institutions and the lives of student-athletes.


The Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) is an alliance of faculty senates from NCAA Division I schools. COIA’s mission is to provide a national faculty voice on intercollegiate sports issues. Areas of concern include academic integrity and quality, student-athlete welfare, campus governance of intercollegiate athletics, commercialization, and fiscal responsibility. The Coalition is committed to the development of effective strategies and proposals for significant, long-term reform in college athletics. COIA works with university faculties, administrations, and national associations concerned with higher education, to implement these strategies and proposals.

Currently, Division I schools that have faculty senates are eligible to be members of COIA. During the past several years, COIA has produced a number of white papers and other documents that lay out recommendations for reform. These recommendations offer best practices that can be used by schools to examine their own policies and practices with regard to intercollegiate athletics. Many of these recommendations have also been discussed with the NCAA as possible action items.

The faculty governance body of any NCAA Division I school can be a member of COIA (see How to Join COIA). We are an ad hoc group and operate without a staff or budget. Our direction is determined by our member senates, and we warmly welcome any NCAA Division I senate that votes to join the COIA on the basis of a general agreement with the principles laid out in our policy papers and reports.