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Institute adopts policy allowing student-athlete promotional pay


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The New Mexico Military Institute has adopted a new policy establishing guidelines for allowing its college athletes to receive compensation for the use of their names, images or likeness and to be represented by sports agents or professional advisors.

The Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy took effect Monday and was approved unanimously by the NMMI Board of Regents at its Friday meeting, which was held during the Institute’s Homecoming weekend.

The new policy was formulated to comply with federal and state laws passed this year, including state Senate Bill 94 or the New Mexico Student Athlete Endorsement Act. The state law was signed April 7 and took effect July 1.

Athletic Director Col. Jose Barron said that the policy was developed by Institute lawyers, a former football coach and Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, president and superintendent of the school.

Barron said they have “come up with a policy that fits our needs very well” and complies with other Institute policies.

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He added that NMMI student-athletes will receive guidance about the new policy.

As with the state law, the NMMI policy will not prohibit a student-athlete from participating in collegiate sports or receiving financial aid if they are represented by agents or professional advisors or receive compensation from endorsements, sponsorships, advertising or their own marketing efforts. But the income they earn could limit their eligibility for some types of needs-based financial aid.

The policy also allows the Institute to use its student-athletes’ names, images and likeness for free to promote the school or its athletic programs, if the student agrees.

But according the Institute policy, which is Section 19 of the Board of Regents Manual, no employees or boosters associated with the Institute can make direct payments to athletes for the purposes of recruitment or athletic participation. They also cannot arrange for third parties to provide the compensation for those purposes.

The cadets will have to disclose their compensation-related activities and their professional representation, and they must refrain from doing any outside NIL activities during Institute athletic or academic activities.

The policy also has a list of 10 categories of products or activities that student-athletes cannot endorse or promote.

Those include firearms or munitions; alcohol; tobacco or electronic cigarettes; drugs including cannabis; steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs; activities involving profanity, sexual activities or gambling and betting; or anything that “disrupts or interferes” with the Institute’s mission or purpose or conflicts with the Institute’s own agreements.

New Mexico was among the first U.S. states to enact name, image and likeness laws this summer. Twenty-seven states now have such laws or executive orders in place, according to the Business of College Sports website, although some won’t go into effect for several years.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.