• Loading stock data...
Saturday, March 2, 2024

Agencies’ New Loophole

  • Athletes of any age can now sign with agents to facilitate NIL deals.
  • NIL rules are now giving agencies a way to develop relationships earlier than they ever could before.
Photo: Jason Getz-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

Major sports agencies are no longer tiptoeing around the new name, image, and likeness era. 

Now that NIL is legal, agencies can sign athletes earlier than ever before — and they’ve begun to do so in droves, from Alabama’s Bryce Young to LSU’s Olivia Dunne.

  • Multiple agents told FOS that the hope is to parlay an agency’s NIL representation into eventual draft, and professional, representation.
  • “We’re here to build the relationship, and you want it to be long-term,” Bryan Burney, from Athletes First, told FOS. “Now we just can bring them opportunities earlier on to help start that relationship.”

Burney works on the business management side at Athletes First, which counts Kyle Pitts and Justin Fields among 20 first-round NFL draft picks over the last three years. Athletes First hasn’t officially signed college players for NIL representation like other agencies have, although Burney said the agency has advised players.

Agencies still have strict rules to navigate from the NCAA and pro players unions. Agents on the marketing side can facilitate NIL deals, but those who handle pro contracts have to wait. 

The NCAA confirmed that any relationship with an agency for endorsements is technically terminated when an athlete leaves college. 

The NFLPA, in a memo obtained by ProFootballTalk, wrote that it was the agent’s “responsibility to monitor and ensure that they are in full compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, as well as NCAA rules that impact the player’s eligibility.”

“We can’t afford to even dabble in the gray area,” Burney said. “The NFL is just not our bread and butter. It’s our only bread and butter. That’s all we do.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

NCAA’s Pay-for-Play Era: What We Know and What’s Next

After years of court battles, the NCAA’s pay-for-play era is here.
Michigan defensive lineman Kenneth Grant celebrates a sack on Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the second quarter during the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Pay-for-Play Is Here: Federal Judge Says NCAA Cannot Enforce Any NIL Rules

The ruling effectively allows pay-for-play to go forward uninhibited.

‘Treated Like Children’: College Football Players Offered $600 to Be in Video Game, No Royalties

Players may be receiving lower than the industry standard with the video game’s return.
Angel Reese

Angel Reese Denied ‘Bayou Barbie’ Trademark

No need to ‘unnecessarily instigate Mattel,’ lawyer says.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Jenny Cavnar is Breaking Barriers During Oakland’s Strange Season


Featured Today

Sheer Madness: What You Need to Know About MLB’s New Uniform Saga

MLB’s reworked uniforms have become a major source of spring training controversy.
Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, points to the lettering outside of the museum Tuesday.
February 28, 2024

How Do You Keep Negro Leagues Baseball History Alive? Put It in a Video Game

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum attracting increased donations, visits from ‘MLB The Show.’
February 26, 2024

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.
February 25, 2024

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Tuned In: Inside Fox’s Plans for Covering Caitlin Clark’s Regular-Season Finale

The Iowa star’s biggest game to date won’t be buried on any streamer.
Caitlin Clark
February 29, 2024

Iowa Star Caitlin Clark Makes It Official: She’s WNBA-Bound

Iowa star Caitlin Clark announced she is declaring for the WNBA draft.
March 1, 2024

Why New Pac-12 Commissioner Teresa Gould Deserved Better

The first female Power 5 commissioner will inherit her predecessors’ mess.

How LivePass is Redefining Ticketing for the Next Generation of Fans

The next wave of ticketing technology.
Washington State
February 29, 2024

Washington State Cuts Football Coaches’ Salaries Up to 10%

The Pac-2 football team has an athletic department deficit near $100 million.
Howard University
February 29, 2024

Howard’s Figure Skating Team Part of Olympic Sport Growth at HBCUs

Olympic sports at HBCUs are growing, with gymnastics and swimming gaining momentum.
February 28, 2024

The George Kliavkoff Era in the Pac-12 Comes to an End

Kliavkoff presided over the 108-year-old conference’s demise.
February 27, 2024

From Tailgates to Scholarships: Winthrop Elevates Cornhole to Collegiate Status

The Rock Hill, S.C., school signed two high school players out of the Denver area to scholarships.