Grizzly Athletics announced on Thursday that the University of Montana has officially adopted the ‘Name, Image and Likeness’ policy from the NCAA.

UM Director of Athletics Kent Haslam said this policy will fundamentally change college athletics.

“This is a big change for college athletics, as we've known it, historically is that now starting today, student athletes can profit personally from the use of their name, image and likeness” said Haslam. “Entering, in layman's terms, into endorsement deals and generating revenue through social media.”

Haslam said there are many guardrails on the policy to protect student athletes and their universities.

“Boosters cannot be involved in any of this,” he said. “It can't be used for recruitment inducements or to reward performance in athletics. Other things that are prohibited for example are the use of the university marks, the intellectual property, so there's not kind of an implied endorsement so you cannot use our university mark. There are certain categories alcohol, firearms, tobacco, those types of things that are prohibited.”

Haslam said the entire Big Sky Conference will be working together to administrate the new policy.

“We're in the works right now in the Big Sky Conference to potentially contract with a third party that would help all of us manage the disclosures and the tracking, and also to provide some really good education for our student athletes so that they know what they're getting into and they don't get taken advantage of,” he said. “I think there's great potential to partner up with our wonderful College of Business and their entrepreneurship programs.”

As for his own views on the subject, Haslam said the policy has been a long time coming.

“I'm in favor of this,” he said. “I think that this is long overdue. “Student athletes, I believe, should be able to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness. Many bring talents and skills that aren't revolving around their athletic abilities and they should be able to profit from those like any other student. How that impacts recruiting, that's still to be seen. I think the University of Montana offers some really unique opportunities in Missoula, where student athletes are high profile and they are able to potentially benefit from that.”

The University of Montana plans to have all sports with crowds at full capacity starting in the fall.


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