Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
Chapter 4. General Provisions
6/25/2024

§ 23.1-408.1. Intercollegiate athletics; student-athletes; compensation and representation for name, image, or likeness..

A. As used in this section:

"Athlete agent" means an individual who holds a valid certificate of registration as an athlete agent issued pursuant to Chapter 5.2 (§ 54.1-526 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

"Attorney" means an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth.

"Compensation" means any type of remuneration or anything of value. "Compensation" does not include any (i) scholarship provided to a student-athlete that covers some or all of the cost of attendance at an institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled or (ii) benefit a student-athlete may receive in accordance with the rules of the relevant athletic association or conference.

"Institution" means a private institution of higher education, associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education, or baccalaureate public institution of higher education.

"Student-athlete" means an individual enrolled at an institution who participates in intercollegiate athletics.

B. No institution or agent thereof, athletic association, athletic conference, or other organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics shall:

1. Prohibit or prevent a student-athlete from earning compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness, except as otherwise permitted in this section;

2. Prohibit or prevent a student-athlete from obtaining professional representation by an athlete agent or legal representation by an attorney in connection with issues related to name, image, or likeness;

3. Declare a student-athlete ineligible for intercollegiate athletic competition because he earns compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness or obtains professional representation by an athlete agent or attorney in connection with issues related to name, image, or likeness; or

4. Reduce, cancel, revoke, or not renew an athletic scholarship because a student-athlete earns compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness or obtains professional representation by an athlete agent or attorney in connection with issues related to name, image, or likeness.

C. No athletic association, athletic conference, or other organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics shall prohibit or prevent an institution from becoming a member of the association, conference, or organization or participating in intercollegiate athletics sponsored by such association, conference, or organization as a consequence of any student-athlete earning compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness or obtaining representation by an athlete agent or attorney in connection with issues related to name, image, or likeness.

D. No student-athlete shall earn compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness in connection with any of the following:

1. Alcohol and alcoholic beverages;

2. Adult entertainment;

3. Cannabis, cannabinoids, cannabidiol, or other derivatives, not including hemp or hemp products;

4. Controlled substances, as defined in § 54.1-3401;

5. Performance enhancing drugs or substances such as steroids or human growth hormone;

6. Drug paraphernalia, as defined in § 18.2-265.1;

7. Tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, nicotine vapor products, and similar products and devices;

8. Weapons, including firearms and ammunition for firearms; and

9. Casinos or gambling, including sports betting.

E. An institution may prohibit a student-athlete from earning compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness while the student-athlete is engaged in academic, official team, or athletic department activities, including class, tutoring, competition, practice, travel, academic services, community service, promotional activities, and other athletic department activities.

F. No student-athlete shall use an institution's facilities; apparel; equipment; uniforms; or intellectual property, including logos, indicia, registered and unregistered trademarks, and products protected by copyright, for any opportunity to earn compensation for the use of his name, image, or likeness, unless otherwise permitted by the institution.

G. Prior to executing an agreement concerning the use of his name, image, or likeness, a student-athlete shall disclose such agreement to the institution at which he is enrolled in a manner designated by the institution. If a student-athlete discloses a potential agreement that conflicts with an existing institutional agreement, the institution shall disclose the relevant terms of the conflicting agreement to the student-athlete.

H. An institution may prohibit a student-athlete from using his name, image, or likeness to earn compensation if the proposed use conflicts with an existing institutional agreement.

I. No institution shall, except as otherwise permitted in this section, enter into, renew, or modify any agreement that prohibits a student-athlete from using his name, image, or likeness to earn compensation while the student-athlete is engaged in non-academic, unofficial team, or non-athletic department activities.

J. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impact the employment status of a student-athlete. No student-athlete shall be considered an employee of an institution based on participation in intercollegiate athletics.

K. Any student-athlete who is aggrieved by any action of an institution or agent thereof, athletic association, athletic conference, or other organization with authority over intercollegiate athletics in violation of any provision of this section may bring an action for injunctive relief.

2022, cc. 510, 638.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.