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03-11-18-penn-yale-palestra-wide-chase-sutton
In accordance with NCAA's newly announced policy, Penn will begin to allow student-athletes to profit off their Name, Image, and Likeness. Credit: Chase Sutton

On Thursday, July 1, the NCAA announced that its student-athletes would now be able to profit off of their Name, Image, and Likeness, unlike in the past.

In accordance with the NCAA’s rule change, the Ivy League has taken a stance that encourages student-athletes to utilize their new avenues to make money, while also urging caution.

“One of the fundamental philosophies of the Ivy League is that student-athletes should have the same opportunities as all students, including the option to engage in projects that use their [NIL],” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said

“These changes to the landscape of intercollegiate athletics bring contemporary opportunities — in and beyond sports — to our ambitious and innovative student-athletes and are now more closely aligned with similar potential endeavors available to all students," she continued. "I strongly encourage our student-athletes to be patient and prudent as these first-time experiences become available, because this is an evolving and complex situation.”

Similarly, Penn Athletics has announced its plan to incorporate the new regulations into existing programs. Education surrounding NIL will be taught within the Quaker Qualified program, which was developed by the Pottruck Center for Student-Athlete Success to work on the “holistic journey of a student-athlete.”

Those who will decide how the University continues to proceed in relation to the ever-evolving rules is the Penn NIL Committee. The group is co-chaired by assistant athletics directors Rachel Kuperinsky and Lauren Procopio, who work in Penn Athletics’ compliance and student-athlete success divisions, respectively. The committee also consists of student-athletes, head coaches, and other members of Penn’s staff, who will work to fully understand the NIL laws and bylaws, transfer that knowledge to student-athletes and others, and find ways to suit everyone’s needs in relation to the statutes.

"This new era of intercollegiate athletics is upon us, and I am proud to say that Penn Athletics and Recreation is prepared to support and educate our student-athletes regarding [NIL]" interim Athletics Director Rudy Fuller said. "At Penn, we have some of the brightest young adults in the world, many of whom are already accomplished entrepreneurs, musicians, authors and more, who now can capitalize on their [NIL]. 

“Our staff, led by Rachel Kuperinsky, Lauren Procopio, Matt Valenti and Steph Zewe have done outstanding work in preparing for July 1, and we are well-positioned to meet the needs of our student-athletes regarding NIL."

In addition to the committee, Penn Athletics has also partnered with SPRY, which is a third-party company that aims to help users “navigate and comply with the NIL landscape more easily.” They do so by implementing an interface through which student-athletes can disclose to the University the deals that they agree to, while also allowing the University to find potential conflicts of interest between the student-athletes’ deals and their own.

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