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Ohio State is changing its approach to name, image and likeness

Ohio State Marching Band and Alumni Marching Band Members perform Script Ohio at an Ohio State football game.
Thomas Bradley

Ohio State’s athletic department is starting a new internal advisory team to link athletes trying to capitalize on their name, image and likeness.

In order to keep up with a quickly-evolving landscape on name, image and likeness, OSU said it’s launching the new NIL Edge team. It’ll be made up of current university employees who can work with companies that may be interested in using OSU athletes in endorsements. .

The team will also work with groups of boosters who pitch in money that can then be used to link athletes with companies, or enter into deals with players themselves.

“We are updating our NIL guidelines to allow for the creation of the Edge Team to assist in connecting and coordinating NIL activities for our student-athletes,” Carey Hoyt, Ohio State senior associate athletics director and primary administrator for Ohio State’s NIL programs, wrote in a Monday email.

“Our guidelines were initially created to be restrictive, but now that we have a better understanding of NIL, it’s clear that we can provide more assistance in connecting student-athletes with interested brands. By allowing some OSU staff to interact with the brands and to educate and answer questions, we can eliminate hesitancy from brands, and donors, who were concerned about breaking rules,” Hoyt wrote.

Players in nearly all NCAA sports have cashed in with NIL money since rules were loosened last year. Endorsements range from local car commercials to national ad campaigns with Cash App and Mercedes Benz.