Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Donahoo, Saran


Amateurism, as it applies to student-athletes, is the contention that student-athletes should take part in sports as a hobby as opposed to compensation. The NCAA mandates students shall and ought to compete without salary to preserve their amateur status (Lemons, 2014). The NCAA also supposes any compromise to this status will result in the disqualification of student-athletes in any future college-level competitions. According to the NCAA, “No student shall represent a college in any intercollegiate game or context … who has at any time received money or any other consideration, directly or indirectly” (NCAA, 2013).

According to the NCAA constitution, student-athletes ought to be amateurs in their intercollegiate sports. The primary motivation for such students should be education and not merely the physical, mental, and social benefits derived from participating in collegiate sports (Lemons, 2014). Further, the NCAA suggests student participation in collegiate sports is an avocation, and as such, students need to be shielded from exploitation by commercial and professional sports enterprises (Sheetz, 2016). In line with the above, the NCAA puts forth several rules to govern amateurism. In section 12.1.2 of NCAA constitution, student-athletes are likely to lose their amateur status if they:

  1. Use their athletic skills for any form of consideration in their sports of interest.
  2. Accept money or a promise of thereof, even when such promise is to be received after school competition.
  3. Provide a commitment of whatever form to play for professional athletics, even when the contact/commitment is legal.
  4. Receive a consideration in the form of a salary, financial assistance, or reimbursement for expenses from a sports organization based on the student’s athletic skills, except as allowed by NCAA rules.
  5. Participate in any professional athletics team, whether or not they receive a pay/remuneration of whatever kind.
  6. After collegiate enrollment enters to a professional draft or agreement with an agent.

Permitted Benefits and Compensation Amateurs can Receive as per NCAA


According to the NCAA constitution, schools may provide scholarships to their athletic students. However, the type of scholarship awarded to the students is dependent on whether a school is division I, II, or III. As per the NCAA constitution, Division I schools can provide scholarships to their students, but the scholarships should only cover tuition, accommodation, fees, board, books, and any other expenses related to school attendance (NCAA, 2020). These schools may also provide students with multiyear scholarships. Division II scholarships, on the other hand, cover tuition, accommodation, fees, board, books, and other related supplies. However, these schools can only provide their students with a one-year scholarship. Division III schools should not offer athletic scholarships to their students.

Occasional Meals

A collegiate-athlete or the entire team may receive a family home meal from institutional staff on an infrequent occasion. The student may receive reasonable local transportation from institutional staff to attend such meals.

Travel Expenses

A student-athlete may receive reasonable local transportation from an institution on an occasional basis. The NCAA recently expanded its restrictions on travel and granted a travel expenses waiver to student-athletes and their families. According to the new rules, the waiver permits colleges to cater to the transport expenses of student-athletes’ families to the Final Four and college football playoff games. The new waiver covers up to $3,000 in travel expenses to Final Four games, and up to $4,000 for the Championship games (Walsh, 2015). The new waiver also permits institutions to provide any additional benefits for the two events, as well as other championship games.

Incidental Benefits—Reasonable Refreshments

Institutions are allowed to provide student-athletes with reasonable refreshments such as snacks and soft drinks on an incidental basis, for instance, during student-athlete educational and business meetings or celebratory events such as birthdays. These benefits are available to all student-athletes (scholarship and non-scholarship) at its discretion as a benefit to participation in intercollegiate athletics.

Additional Benefits

In addition to financial aid and subsidies, students are allowed to accept additional “permissible benefits.” Institutions are permitted to provide their student-athletes with tutoring and academic counseling and life skills programs to assist them in transitioning to work after their sports avocation. Further, the schools can provide leadership academic programs to students to equip them with critical personal and leadership skills. Also, schools can provide their students with strength and conditioning services, sports medicine services, psychological services, and nutrition counseling.

The purpose of this study was to focus on the connection between name, image, and likeness (NIL) and Life Skills as defined by the institutional policies of six universities. Specifically, a comparative analysis of six member institutions in the State University System of Florida was conducted to analyze each institution’s approach to name, image, and likeness legislation. Through my analysis, I sought information to learn how each public FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) institution in the state of Florida, approaches the two now that they have responsibility for both. The study answers the following research questions:

  1. How are Florida institutions approaching NIL?
  2. What connections are these institutions establishing/promoting between NIL and Life Skills for college student-athletes?
  3. How might institutions improve these connections to help prepare student-athletes for life after their eligibility ends?

Much of the research was done approximately one month after the adoption of emergency legislation to permit college student-athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. Specifically, the NCAA created a policy for all student-athletes to monetize; even in states who had not created a law.