GreenLight Story

Newly announced Charlotte GreenLight program logo. 

On Thursday, July 1st, NCAA student-athletes can now make money from their name, image and likeness (NIL). However, North Carolina is one of 12 states that doesn't have legal guidance for NIL, and the NCAA is allowing schools in this situation to go about it in their own way.  

In preparation for this, Charlotte's athletic department created the program named "GreenLight, which partners with their student-athletes on helping to create their own brand.

What is NIL?

NIL stands for name, image and likeness, and it has been at the forefront of the NCAA and student-athletes' minds recently. With the new ruling, student-athletes can now monetize themselves and get paid for their NIL rights. 

Student-athletes not getting paid for the NIL in prior years has been a major concern. It led to the demise of the popular video game franchises NCAA football, NCAA basketball and NCAA baseball, all overseen by EA sports. Those videogames used real collegiate players' looks for the game, but EA didn't compensate these players, leading to the final college sports game in 2014. 

UCLA's Ed O'Bannon filed a lawsuit against EA for not compensating athletes after using their NIL, halting video game production. However, earlier this year, EA Sports announced the return of college sports video games with 'EA Sports: College Football,' and now players can be compensated for their NIL. As a result, collegiate sports video games could return to their former glory. 

What does this mean for NCAA sports in general?

Collegiate athletes can now be endorsed and compensated while building their brand. 

The one-and-done era of college basketball should see a decline now that the players can get paid while playing in college. This should have positive results on the quality of sports played at both the collegiate and professional levels. 

The new era of the NCAA has already begun. University of Miami quarterback D'Eriq King agreed to promote two Tampa-based companies for an agreed amount of 20,000 dollars. 

What is Charlotte's GreenLight program?

GreenLight is a program that Charlotte's athletic department set up to help student-athletes have the necessary resources to market themselves by pursuing business opportunities properly. The athletic department has partnered with COMPASS & INFLCR for their GreenLight program, which helps student-athletes gain business resources. 

"GreenLight is more than a brand name for our NIL efforts; it's in keeping with our philosophy to be a student-athlete-centered organization," said Athletic Director Mike Hill. 

COMPASS helps educate the athletes on the best ways to build their brands and what to look for in deals to make smart choices for their future. INFLCR helps by providing the student-athletes with the resources to be able to determine their value & marketability. 

"Let's embrace this new era of college athletes and give our student-athletes the best opportunity to develop and grow their own personal brands," said Hill. "By partnering with COMPASS and INFLCR, we'll immediately be able to provide the best-in-class services—from education to brand-building."

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