Good morning, friends, and welcome to the final day of June, otherwise known as the calm before the storm for college athletics. Tomorrow, Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) laws go into effect in eight states, including Kentucky, and in turn, the NCAA Board of Directors is expected to pass an interim policy this afternoon to suspend amateurism rules until federal legislation is in place.
What exactly does that mean? Well, if you’re like Mitch Barnhart and looking to the NCAA for guidance, not much. After working on a NIL plan for two years, NCAA leaders mostly abandoned it following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Alston Case last week. The Alston Case dealt strictly with educational benefits, such as paid internships, computers, etc., but essentially served as a warning that any NIL restrictions the NCAA wanted to put on schools wouldn’t stand up in federal court moving forward. As a result, the Division I Council scrambled to put another proposal together by July 1, and the one they came up with essentially pushes all of the responsibility on to the schools. Here are the four points of “guidance” recommended by the Council:
— College athletes can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.
— Student-athletes who attend a school in a state without a NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
— College athletes can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
— Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.
So, a lot of gray area. Until federal legislation is in place, NIL laws and rules will be different in each state, and in many cases, each school. Governor Beshear’s executive order prohibits schools in Kentucky from preventing student-athletes from profiting off their name, image, and likeness with the following exceptions:
— Compensation in exchange for the student-athlete’s athletic participation
— Compensation in exchange for endorsements or promotions in conflict with existing agreements with the school
— Compensation by or arranged by the school that supports or benefits the school
— School may create reasonable limitations on conflicting dates and times of NIL opportunities or potential agreements it deems incompatible to its mission (e.g., alcohol, tobacco products, firearms, or sexually-oriented activities)
— School may require disclosure of any contract or agreement between a student-athlete and third party
For UK, there are a LOT of questions remaining, particularly with that second bullet point. How will the school react to potential endorsement deals that conflict with its partnership with JMI? Will they allow a UK player to sign a deal with KSBar, or any area restaurant or business that doesn’t have an exclusive deal with the school? In some ways, student-athletes in states that DON’T have NIL laws going into effect tomorrow have more freedom than those in Kentucky based on the terms of Gov. Beshear’s order.
Right now, one thing is for certain: UK student-athletes know what tomorrow means and they’re ready for it. All week, players have been offering their services to local and national companies on social media. I wouldn’t be surprised if many already have deals lined up to go live tomorrow. May I suggest KSBar and Grille?
If UK athletes are interested in signings @KSBarAndGrille (likely beginning in August) feel free to reach out via DM
With the new rules, We would be glad to host and allow you to make money in our fine facility
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) June 29, 2021
NIL could have a direct implication on two other storylines we’re monitoring today…
Happy birthday, Davion Mintz!
Mintz, one of the bright spots from last season, turns 23 today. As we’re all well aware, the guard from Charlotte, North Carolina is still mulling whether to turn pro or return to Kentucky for one more season. I haven’t seen a single mock draft or Top 100 prospect ranking with Mintz’s name on it, so if he does go pro, that means he’s fine going to the G League or overseas. If his reasons are purely financial, NIL could make returning to Kentucky a much more appealing option. Mintz was a fan favorite last year, and surely would be this go around. I’m sure local companies would be lining up for deals. KSBar PiMintzo Cheese, anyone? (h/t to @Bobcat017 for that one)
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Jalen Duren wraps up his visit
The No. 1 player in high school basketball has been on Kentucky’s campus since Monday, and from everything we’ve heard, this visit is going very well. The timing is pretty ideal. Not only does Duren get a firsthand look at the current squad in action at workouts, he’s been privy to gaggles of adoring fans at John Calipari’s three-day youth camp. With NIL rolling out tomorrow, I’m sure Duren has heard plenty about how many opportunities would be available to him if he chose the college route and Kentucky.
It’s hard to tell who is who in the background of these videos, but if Duren was at Cal’s house last night, he enjoyed one heck of a pool party.
Speaking of Duren…
Penny Hardaway is staying at Memphis
Memphis and Miami are Kentucky’s perceived competition should Duren choose the college route, and last night, Penny Hardaway nixed rumors he may be headed to the Orlando Magic. Not only that, Shams Charania is reporting Hardaway is adding Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown to his Memphis staff as an assistant.
Penny Hardaway announced on IG he’s staying at Memphis.
“One day in the future I would love to coach in the NBA, and wouldn’t that be great if it were the Orlando Magic, but today isn’t that day. Today I’m here…working hard as I can to bring us a national championship.” pic.twitter.com/DdnmlvAMlH
— Jessica Benson (@jessbensontv) June 30, 2021
What will Dare Rosenthal do?
On Monday, LSU starting left tackle Dare Rosenthal entered the transfer portal. Kentucky, Florida State, Missouri, and Baylor have been mentioned as potential destinations, and Rosenthal has been working out at Aspirations Gym in Louisville, a popular offseason training spot for Kentucky Football players, since his departure from Baton Rouge. The transfer portal closes tomorrow, July 1, making today potentially a big one for the future of the Big Blue Wall. Nick Roush has his ear to the ground for news, but if you don’t want to wait, hear him and Adam Luckett talk about Rosenthal on the latest episode of 11 Personnel.
Game Three of the College World Series
Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt 13-2 last night to even up the College World Series at 1-1. The winner-takes-all, It-Just-Means-More Game 3 is tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Game Six of Suns/Clippers
Will Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns punch their ticket to the NBA Finals or will DeMarcus Cousins help the LA Clippers stay alive once again? We’ll find out in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals, which tips at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Volleyball Team takes its trophy to the Euclid Kroger
Yesterday, the Kentucky Volleyball team took its national championship trophy to Union, KY for a meet-and-greet with fans en route to the Reds/Padres game in Cincinnati. Today, they’ll take the trophy to the Kroger on Euclid Avenue in Lexington. Come on out and celebrate with the team from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. ET. Someone tell John Short.
You’ve gotta love Craig Skinner going after Phil Mickelson on Twitter for a RT, too.
Come and join us at the Union, KY @kroger today from 4:30-5:30PM. Thanks for the inspiration @PhilMickelson . Can we get a retweet? #BBN. Go Cats!! @PGATOUR @PGA https://t.co/dq2nwcLgH9 pic.twitter.com/JC08B71JBB
— Craig Skinner (@UKCoachSkinner) June 29, 2021
KSR Dog of the Day
Willow is staying cool in a Tony Delk jersey.
I’ll leave you with something a little less wholesome: Rick Pitino cussing out the Greek National Team in the FIBA World Olympic Qualifiers (NSFW!):
Rick Pitino cursing out Greece, lmaooo pic.twitter.com/IqzDPqQe7I
— Reid Goldsmith (@reidgoldsmith) June 30, 2021