Revising the National Letter of Intent

Author: Stephen Doyle, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Within the past few years, the rights, or lack thereof, of college athletes have received significant media attention. One of those discussions centers on the arguably lopsided nature of the National Letters of Intent (NLI) that many student-athletes sign each year. The NLI is a contract between a student-athlete and a university, in which the student-athlete promises to play a sport at the university in exchange for the university’s promise of financial aid for one year.[1] Although the NLI has been riddled with issues since its creation, the new millennium has seen more complaints, resulting from the increased rate of coaching changes and complications surrounding the requirement that each student under twenty-one years of age obtain a parent’s signature on the NLI.[2] This article discusses the pros, cons, and possible solutions to the numerous issues with the NLI.

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College Athletes Demand Pay, But May Have Sacked Themselves

Author: Matt Huffman, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and its member schools collect hundreds of millions of dollars each year from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Division I Basketball broadcasts and video games. The schools make a substantial amount of money from licensing players’ names, likenesses, and images to television and video game companies. However, players do not receive any of this money. They agree to give up the use of their names, likenesses, and images when they accept an athletic scholarship, and in return, their schools may provide tuition, room and board, and book expenses. But players may soon receive a part of television and video game revenue if the recent decision in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Association is upheld.[1] While student-athletes have long sought to receive a portion of the huge sums of broadcasting and video game revenue they help generate, the proposed payments in O’Bannon could not be treated as athletic scholarships under § 117 of the Internal Revenue Code (§ 117) and would not comply with Title IX. In fact, paid student-athletes under the O’Bannon settlement framework would likely be considered employees of the school and would be required to include the payments in their gross income, resulting in significant tax liabilities for both players and universities.

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