Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is a new term in collegiate athletics and it’s not only impacting players; NIL will impact athletic department hiring practices for years to come. The collegiate athletics landscape changed in a major way on July 1 as Supreme Court rulings and NCAA rules converged to allow all NCAA athletes the opportunity to begin making money from their names, images, and likenesses – NIL for short. This game-changing paradigm shift is huge for athletes looking to benefit financially from their stardom, but it also signifies a shift in hiring practices for Athletic Departments.
Running an athletics department was plenty complicated prior to the new rule changes – a multitude of sports, revenue-generating sports, Olympic sports, Title IX, scholarships, fundraising, compliance, logistics, budgeting, recruiting, the facilities arms race – the list is seemingly endless. But now, athletics directors, and their search teams, will need to think harder about the candidates they interview.
Make no mistake, NIL complicates things even more. The new skill set required to run an athletics department will include a deep understanding of legal, compliance, financial, and eligibility requirements. It may not sound like a new skillset, but a deeper dive reveals that NIL makes every student athlete’s situation wholly unique – that complicates things … exponentially. And this complication will result in more non-traditional candidates, such as attorneys or skilled marketing leaders, assuming roles in prominent athletics departments.
While the rules for athletes have relaxed, Athletics Directors and their leadership teams work to understand the changes and how their student-athletes are impacted; What they’re allowed to do, and what they’re not allowed to do. Each athlete’s situation is unique, each athlete’s new earning potential is unique, and all within the confines of an academic institution.
College athletes across the country began announcing partnership agreements on social media, and the realization that a new era of collegiate athletics is upon is quickly set in. This new era will need new leadership that understands the new rules and the power the players now have. These new leaders will have to understand the impacts of NIL and how it will impact their hiring practices. They’ll also need to understand that these rules will probably change again, and again over the next few years.
FaithSearch Partners’ Athletics Service line specializes in securing differential leaders for Christian athletic teams, leagues, and associations. If your athletics department is looking for leadership that can navigate these ever-changing NIL rules, and help you sort through the NIL impact on athletic department hiring, FaithSearch Partners is an elite executive search firm that specializes in finding and securing those leaders. FaithSearch has a proven track record of securing leaders for nonprofit, academic, and athletic organizations.