Sports Court NIL Newsletter | International NIL

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Today’s Case

Player of the Year Zach Edey blasts U.S. NIL law for restricting international student-athletes

Purdue basketball’s Zach Edey (#15) (Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Two-time National Player of the Year Zach Edey spoke to the media about NIL ahead of this past weekend’s Final Four - and did not mince words, especially as it affects international athletes like himself.

Edey: "I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of money. I hope they change it in the future. I obviously have lost out on a lot of money this year. At the end of the day, it needs to change, for sure. I understand kind of the legal process. It takes a while."

The Canadian center - on a student visa at Purdue - is unable to engage in U.S-based NIL opportunities, but can earn compensation for deals coordinated and executed outside of the country.

He is able to earn passive income (allowed for an international athlete compensation) for merchandise and jersey deals, like he has with Campus Ink's NIL store. However he can't promote the products.

The Verdict

  • Edey is right

    • The fact that he can’t monetize his NIL in the U.S. simply for the fact he was born outside the country is nonsense. And because of that he’s right in that he’s lost out on a lot of money. (I would estimate mid six figures, given his ability on the court.)

    • However, he was able to engage in NIL deals in Canada (international student-athletes are allowed to partake in NIL opportunities in their home country) and promote brands.

  • However, work can be done

    • Here is a good post from University of Florida’s NIL Director Ben Chase stating that international student-athletes CAN earn NIL money in the U.S. with the help of legal counsel, assistance from their athletic department, etc.

    • While this takes a a lot of paperwork, having the right legal team on your side, etc. it’s not impossible for international student-athletes to maximize their NIL in the U.S. - and schools should have these measures in place.

  • Future law change?

    • Last summer, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy introduced The College Athlete Economic Freedom Act. Among other things, it includes provisions to allow international student-athletes to engage in NIL activity without losing their student visa status.

    • While the NCAA and Congress are still sorting things out related to NIL, this is one bill I hope passes soon.


A junior college in Montana is leveraging NIL for its track and field and cross country athletes. Check out this video for more!

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