University at Buffalo Crest.

Policy Information

Date Established: 2/6/2024
Date Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
Athletics Compliance Office

Responsible Executive:

Vice President and Director of Athletics

Policy Contents


Name, Image, and Likeness Activities Policy


Student-athletes may enter into agreements that provide compensation in exchange for the use of their name, image, and likeness without jeopardizing their athletic scholarship or National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) eligibility.

Policy Statement

The University at Buffalo (UB, university) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of compliance in the operation of its intercollegiate athletics program, including but not limited to adhering to the rules governing name, image, and likeness (NIL) activities. UB student-athletes may enter into agreements and engage in activities with external parties that provide compensation in exchange for use of their NIL, subject to the requirements of this policy. NIL arrangements must not conflict with the intercollegiate athletics program, including team activities. Permissible forms of compensation include any form of currency, services, in-kind contributions, item(s) of value, or other forms of payment.

Student-athlete involvement in NIL activities must comply with:

The Name, Image and Likeness Program provides additional guidance and details.


A student-athlete may receive compensation from a third party for NIL activity if the compensation is provided in exchange for services, activities, intellectual property, appearances, or other value actually provided by the student-athlete. NIL compensation must be commensurate with the market rate in the locale of the activity and must be for work performed by the student-athlete.

A student-athlete may not accept compensation in exchange for athletic performance, participation, or as an inducement for initial or continued enrollment at UB. This includes but is not limited to a “pay-for-play” arrangement in which a student-athlete would be compensated for their personal or team’s performance or achievement (e.g., financial incentive based directly or solely on points scored or wins). In addition, this restriction also prevents compensation for work, service, and/or product not provided or performed.

Disclosure Obligation

A student-athlete must use the INFLCR app to disclose any NIL activity 24 hours prior to entering into a written or verbal contract or participating in NIL activity. NIL activity using UB marks and/or intellectual property must be disclosed at least 72 hours prior. Disclosure includes information related to compensation arrangements; transactions; and details of relationships with a professional advisor, commercial entity, and third parties.

Attendance at Team and University Activities

All NIL activities must be completed outside of team activities and academic obligations. Student-athletes may not engage in NIL activities during:

  • Organized team practice, weights, lifting, conditioning, competition, team travel, team
    meals, team meetings, sports medicine activities, Athletics community service, Athletics
    media events, or any other countable athletically-related activities
  • Student-athlete class time as established on the university official class schedule
  • Mandatory study hall hours, tutoring appointments, and other mandated academic
    obligations as dictated by the Head Coach and/or Athletics Academic staff

Professional Services

A student-athlete may retain and use the services of a professional advisor in connection with NIL activities. Services may not be for future professional contract negotiations. Student-athletes must pay the fair market value for professional services and document use in the NIL Disclosure. In accordance with New York State legislation, the professional advisor must be registered and/or licensed by the State and follow all applicable agent laws. Professional advisors may not market the student-athlete’s athletic ability.

Institutional Involvement

State and university resources may not be used in student-athlete NIL activities. In addition, university staff, faculty, coaches, volunteers, or employees may not arrange directly or indirectly, NIL activities for student athletes.

The university, including its employees, contractors, representatives, volunteers, and agents may:

  • Educate student-athletes on NIL, including but not limited to topics intended to inform student-athletes regarding rules and risks, best practices, how to engage in NIL, and how to build one’s personal brand
  • Assist student-athletes with the evaluation of a professional advisor to support NIL activity
  • Provide support to student-athletes that would be provided to any other university student
  • Be involved in the development, operation, or promotion of non-UB NIL activity

The university, including its employees, contractors, representatives, volunteers, and agents may not:

  • Purchase a student-athlete’s work product or service; a product or service developed as part of a student athlete’s coursework is not subject to this restriction
  • Use the promise of any specific NIL activity as an inducement to attend UB
  • Contract with or otherwise knowingly allow any UB partner or contractor to engage in activity that is impermissible for UB

Use of University Intellectual Property (IP)

The university protects the use of its name, trademarks, service marks, logos, symbols, images, videos and all of its intellectual property, whether registered or not, including but not limited to use in or on advertising, stationery, websites, social media, cobranding, facilities, or apparel and merchandise.

As such, student-athletes are limited in their use of university IP which may include:

  • Words (e.g., “University at Buffalo”)
  • Symbols (e.g., Spirit Mark)
  • Colors (e.Imagery (e.g., campus/facility photography, roster headshots, photos in uniform)

Student-athletes may use UB intellectual property (e.g., institutional marks) as follows:

  • Co-branding with UB
  • Co-branding with a third-party entity and UB

All uses of UB intellectual property must adhere to university brand standards, and comply with the Trademarks and Licensing Policy and Trademarks and Licensing approval requirements. Student-athletes must complete the Trademark Use Request Process detailed at Name, Image, and Likeness - Use of UB Intellectual Property.

A student-athlete request to co-brand with the university or use university IP will be considered by the Division of University Communications on a case-by-case basis with respect to current contractual relationships and in accordance with university policies. Rights to use university IP must be secured through an agreement granting specified promotional or licensed rights.

While a student-athlete may be granted the use of university IP assets, this does not extend to third party use of UB IP assets. Co-branding between a student athlete, the university and a third party requires a separate agreement (e.g., sponsorship agreement) between the third party and the university.

Any use of university IP requires prior review and approval from Trademarks and Licensing. The university has sole discretion over its IP and does not guarantee use of university IP by a student-athlete. Failure to adhere to UB brand standards or institutional trademarks and licensing policies may result in the revocation of all rights granted to the student-athlete to use UB IP.

The current university royalty rate will be applied to all instances of use of university IP when used in conjunction with a student-athlete’s NIL activities that involve the development of co-branded products or services. 

Student-athletes are not prohibited from using the student-athlete’s name, sport position, and/or hometown in the promotion of their NIL. 

Use of University Facilities

A student-athlete may request use of university facilities for NIL activities. Use of university facilities for NIL activities must be approved in advance. Standard rental fees, insurance requirements, and a fully executed Revocable Permit are required.

Incidental use of university facilities (e.g., recording videos or podcasts in on-campus housing; selling autographs on campus if a permit is not required) is permissible if university intellectual property is not used and the use is consistent with university policies applicable to any student. 

Athletic Representative (Booster) Involvement

Student-athletes will be ineligible for participation in Athletics if, during the UB Athletics recruiting process, a representative of the university’s athletics interests (booster) contacted the student-athlete or their family for the purposes of promising future NIL opportunities.

Conflicts With University Contracts

Student-athletes may not engage in NIL activities with sponsors, products, or businesses in direct competition with existing UB and/or Athletics sponsors. 

University Values and Prohibited Activities/Products

A student-athlete may not engage in NIL activities that conflict with university policy, the Student Code of Conduct, UB Student-Athlete Compliance Handbook, or that can reasonably be judged to cause financial loss or reputational damage to UB or Athletics. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Activities associated with any form of gambling in any format, including casinos, racinos, off-track betting, daily fantasy, and online sports wagering
  • Activities associated with cannabis, or any form of street or recreational drugs or NCAA banned substances
  • Activities associated with tobacco, smokeless tobacco, or vaping
  • Activities associated with alcohol sales or use, including nightclubs and bars
  • Activities associated with all forms of adult entertainment, pornography, and gentlemen’s clubs
  • Activities in violation of UB’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy
  • Activities that appear to create an endorsement by the university of a particular company, product, political candidate, or position regarding public policy
  • Activities that violate any NCAA rule
  • Activities that are illegal under federal, state, or local law

Financial Aid

Compensation for NIL activities may have an impact on a student-athlete’s eligibility for federal and state need based aid. Student-athletes are encouraged to consult with the Director of Financial Aid to fully understand the potential impact of their NIL opportunities.

Taxes and Withholding

Student-athletes are responsible for all taxes, withholding, reporting, licenses, permissions, permits, expenses, fees, and any other obligations, liabilities, or costs associated with NIL activities.

International Student-Athletes

International student-athletes must comply with all student visa requirements, which may impact NIL activity. Students should consult with International Student Services to discuss work permissions for their respective visas.


Participation in NIL activities in violation of NCAA legislation or this policy may affect the student-athlete’s eligibility for NCAA competition.

Violations will result in disciplinary action as follows:

  • First violations will result in follow-up education and mandatory meetings with the Office of Compliance and/or Athletic Director
  • Subsequent violations may result in removal from all team activities for up to one week (seven full days) at the discretion of the Athletic Director
  • Egregious and/or repeated violations may result in more significant sanctions or dismissal from Athletics



The NCAA Board of Directors approved an interim NIL policy effective July 1, 2021; the policy remains applicable until federal or state legislation or new NCAA rules are adopted. The interim policy permits student-athletes the opportunity to benefit from their name, image, and likeness without impacting their intercollegiate athletics eligibility. 



This policy applies to UB student-athletes who have eligibility remaining in their sport and covers the entire range of NIL activities, including but not limited to advertisements, affiliate sales, appearances, endorsements, crowdfunding, autograph sessions, sport camps, individual businesses, and entrepreneurial activity.

This policy is specific to the prospective or current student-athlete’s relationship with UB and their NCAA eligibility. 


Athletics Representative (Booster)

Person or entity that has participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics program.


NCAA Bylaw 12.4.1 defines compensation as any remuneration for provided services or goods. Student-athletes may be paid for work performed at a rate commensurate to market value for similar activities.

Institutional Marks

Names, including the initials U and B, seals, symbols, insignia, logos, original artwork, word marks, hashtags, signatures, taglines, uniforms, mascots, or other identifying visuals, as well as still and moving images, or any other identifier that represents the University at Buffalo. Student-athletes are permitted to use a small subset of institutional marks for NIL purposes and must obtain approval to use them in NIL activities.

Intellectual Property

University name, brand, trademarks, service marks, logos, symbols, nicknames, mascot, colors, landmarks, images, and videos, whether registered or not. University intellectual property includes but is not limited to:

  • Words (e.g., University at Buffalo)
  • Symbols (e.g., Spirit Mark)
  • Colors (e.g., UB Blue and White)
  • Imagery (e.g., campus/facility photography, roster headshots, photos in uniform)

Name, Image and Likeness (NIL)

Three components of a person’s “right of publicity.” The components are independent or collectively identifiable aspects of a person that make them unique, including but not limited to their name, image, likeness, nickname, signature, social media account, social media handle, or any physical, digital, or other visual or auditory representation (including voice).

Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) Activity

Situation in which a student-athlete’s or prospective student-athlete’s NIL or personal appearance is used for promotional purposes by a non-UB entity, to endorse or promote a commercial product or service, or otherwise license or monetize the use of their NIL. This does not include UB-sponsored charitable or promotional activities incidental to the student athlete’s participation in intercollegiate athletics.

Student-athlete use and monetization of their NIL may involve a wide range of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Traditional commercials or advertisements for products or services
  • Developing or promoting their own business
  • Promoting a corporate entity (e.g., brand ambassador, social media influencer)
  • Personal appearances
  • Providing private lessons (and using their NIL to promote those lessons)
  • Operating the student-athlete’s camp or clinic or promoting the student athlete’s participation in a camp or clinic
  • Sponsored social posts
  • Autograph sessions

Professional Advisor

Agent, advisor, tax advisor, marketing consultant, attorney, or anyone who is employed or associated with these individuals.

Prospective Student-Athlete

Student who has started classes for the ninth grade or international equivalent. In addition, a student who has not started classes for the ninth grade or international equivalent becomes a prospective student-athlete if the institution provides such an individual (or the individual's family members or friends) any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students generally. 


  1. A student enrolled at a college and participating in intercollegiate athletics, or
  2. An individual who has completed at least their sophomore year of high school or inter- national equivalent and is eligible, or may in the future be eligible, to attend a college and participate in intercollegiate athletics. Such term shall not include an individual permanently ineligible to participate in a particular interscholastic or intercollegiate sport



  • Attend NIL educational training hosted by the Athletics Compliance Office prior to engaging in NIL activities.
  • Understand all university policies and procedures, NCAA rules and regulations, and state laws relevant to NIL activity.
  • Disclose all NIL activity prior to entering into a written or verbal contract or participating in NIL activity. Complete the NIL Disclosure Form on the INFLCR app.
  • Ensure that NIL activities do not conflict with academic or team related activities.
  • Obtain prior approval for use of UB intellectual property.
  • Obtain prior approval for use of UB facilities. Complete the Revocable Permit.
  • Consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding the impact of NIL compensation on need-based financial aid.
  • Consult with a professional advisor regarding the tax implications of compensation earned from NIL activities.
    • Consult agent laws in the student-athlete’s state of permanent residence.
  • Comply with:

Athletics - Compliance Office

  • Provide comprehensive education to student-athletes and recruited prospective student-athletes regarding NIL activities.
  • Monitor activities to prevent and identify violations of NCAA rules.
  • Review violations and determine appropriate sanctions.

University Communications

  • Review all requests for the use of university IP.
  • Confirm with University Advancement and Athletics that co-branding agreements involving third parties external to UB exist and identify the university IP included for use in those agreements.
  • Monitor university IP usage to ensure adherence to university brand and trademark standards.
  • Identify and review violations and determine appropriate actions.

University Advancement

  • Review and approve all co-branding proposals between the student-athlete, UB, and third-party entity.

Contact Information

Contact An Expert




Kelly Cruttenden - Senior Associate Athletic Director - Compliance 716-645-7978
International Student Services 716-645-2258

Related Information

University Links

Related Links

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President