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  • Writer's pictureZac Logsdon

Survey: Majority Support NIL; Most Have Yet To Develop Plan but Feel Need to Begin Prep Now

Key Concern Areas Are Recruiting Issues, Sponsorship & Keeping Up with Competitors

Stadion Sports conducted a survey with athletic administrators to gauge opinions and readiness for pending Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation. The questions ranged from overall position on the topic to current states of implementation. Of the respondents*, 62% were athletic department staff and 16% were university administrators, with 82% of respondents coming from D1 and 18% from D2.


  • Support for the Concept … 84% said athletes should have NIL rights

  • Hurry Up and Wait … 83% do not have an NIL program in place, and 39% are waiting on the final NCAA legislation

  • Olympic Gold … 51% feel the U.S. Olympic world is handling NIL better than college sports

  • Deal or No Deal … there was split reaction to whether the schools should broker deals for student-athletes with 44% saying no, 25% yes and 31% unsure

  • It’s About Recruiting … 72% think fair recruiting is most likely to be threatened by NIL legislation, the highest threat area to respondents

  • Other Areas of Worry … additional concern areas include 64% who say it will “most likely” impact sponsorships, and half feel it will impact team dynamic

  • The Jury is Out … most are unsure if NIL will impact academic success and ticket sales

  • Different Needs … 69% felt NIL is “very important” for high profile revenue sports, and 56% felt is “somewhat important” for Olympic/non-revenue sports

The Bottom Line … a vast majority of schools support NIL but they don’t yet have a program in place, have varied levels of internal consensus and most are unsure how they will execute. Assuming an NCAA decision comes in the next 6 months to a year, survey results show that 73% of schools will then need a program within the next year. With recruiting being the top area of concern, this creates urgency for schools to have a plan in place.

For more information on the survey results and Stadion Sports services such as the short-term “Training Camp” program to begin preparing for NIL now, please contact us at Stadion Sports at 719-338-2339 or


Below are select quotes from respondents:

“We should have dealt with this issue a generation ago. Student-athletes are students and should have the same rights that others have. Our industry failed to evolve and is now vulnerable because leadership lacked the vision and resolve to tackle a nuanced, yet relatively simple, issue.”

“Many collegiate student-athletes' careers don't go beyond the age of 23-24. This is the prime of their careers, so NIL would give many student-athletes the opportunity to have third party endorsements they otherwise would not have been able to have had.”

“It will be a disaster for college athletics as we know it, especially if there are not one set of rules. But it’s coming and we need to be prepared to have something in place.”

“Mid-majors who commit to implementing a comprehensive program could see benefits in recruiting. Will it be better to be a star in a small market/mid-major vs. a role player in a large market/power 5?”

“This is great for the students - it encourages them to take ownership of their own brand, which in turn can bring new eyeballs to our brand (even if they aren't connected by their NIL work).”

“The common misconception is that only power 5 student-athletes will benefit from NIL opportunities, but we know that our mid-major athletes will have plenty of opportunity at the local and regional level.”

“More opportunities to attract certain recruits to a college town. Also, being able to utilize existing programs in place in our various colleges for programming and education and building stronger partnerships. Lastly, putting our athletes in a position for future entrepreneurship opportunities immediately and upon graduation.”

“NIL is more than just third-party endorsements. The lack of NIL in collegiate sports is preventing many student-athletes from exploring entrepreneurship opportunities and being able to use their full resumes to do so.”

“I’m wary of the growing disparities between “revenue” sports and “non-revenue” sports.”

*Methodology: Online survey conducted February-March 2021 with 81 total respondents. It was promoted through Stadion Sports social channels and in the D1 Ticker.

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