News

For Sale: A Guide to Student Athlete’s Publicity Rights and Changes

If there are two things Americans love, it’s capitalism and sports. However, the current college sports model eschews a competitive market in favor of a monopoly for universities and the NCAA. Recently, states and students have begun pushing back and demanding change so athletes can profit from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

As it stands now, college athletes cannot sell their NIL or endorse a product without risking eligibility. This means that Joe Burrow can’t appear in an ad for his hometown car dealership, even if he isn’t wearing any LSU gear or holding a football. Teaching summer camps or serving as a private coach in the off-season is also off-limits. Meanwhile, all other college students can sell their NIL all day without school repercussions. As social media has grown, acting as an influencer, model or YouTube personality has become a viable option for students to make some extra income. But this option disappears simply because a student chooses to play sports. While some write off the issue as merely a money grab, the stark contrast in rights for athletes versus non-athletes is a much more fundamental issue of equality and access. Considering that the majority of college football and basketball players are minorities or come from lower income communities only highlights the civil rights issues at play.

The current rules give all the power to the schools, which already gain millions in marketing from their athletic programs, and fail to give any compensation to the players who make it all possible. As college sports become more and more lucrative and competitive, students, fans and now politicians have taken issue with this rigged system and have recently passed legislation allowing student athletes to profit from their NIL.

California was the first state to pass a law allowing student athletes to profit from their NIL. Specifically, the Fair Pay to Play Act prohibits schools from enforcing the NCAA rules limiting eligibility. The schools then face the issue of which rule to break. If they follow California law, they will be ineligible for NCAA play and forfeit thousands – or even millions – of dollars in marketing profits. But if schools ignore California law, they can be sued by players and also legally compelled into complying with the law anyway. Because of this bind, the NCAA has vowed to fight the law (which goes into effect in 2023) and claims it may be unconstitutional. That is a tough argument to make, as the NCAA is essentially saying that its guidelines are more important than state law.

Likely sensing its tenuous position, the NCAA also convened a “working group” to consider what to do about NIL rights. Its proposals are due in the fall of 2020, but spectators are not optimistic that the group will commit to any real change. And this temporary measure is not stopping states from proposing their own laws. Since California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, more than a dozen states have proposed similar laws, which could quickly get messy as each have slightly different requirements and timelines. There has also been discussion of a bill at the federal level to eliminate this confusion. The NCAA supports federal legislation, but there is concern that NCAA’s lobbying will only serve to stifle a true market-based system.

The point behind all of this politicking is, while the change may be slow, it is coming. Once schools and the NCAA are forced to give up a piece of the market, athletes will need qualified advisors to help them navigate their new rights and responsibilities. Mr. Dahman is proud to be a longtime champion of student athlete rights and is working closing with legislators to ensure meaningful change. If you have questions about NIL rights or would like to discuss further, please contact Samir Dahman.

Dahman Testifies before Michigan House of Representatives in Support of Student-Athlete NIL Law

On January 23, 2020, I had the honor of testifying before the Michigan House of Representatives Oversight Committee in support of House Bills 5217 and 5218, which grant college-athletes the right to benefit from their name, image, and likeness without losing eligibility.

Thank you to Representatives Iden and Tate for sponsoring these bills and inviting me to speak.

I will be following up with posts on why states should pass legislation that is effective now (California’s doesn’t take effect until 2023) and why the NCAA’s efforts are only reactionary and will likely be the bare minimum.

Dahman testifying in Support of NIL Rights
-> click image to play video

Berkshire Triathlon + Kid’s Fun Run Raises $25,000!!

Thank you all so much for supporting the Berkshire Triathlon  & Kids Fun Run in its 8th year!!!

We met our three goals of:

  • Trying Hard – getting out and exercising, which can be tough in our busy lives
  • Having Fun – keeping the vibe light at the fun run and try-athlon and feeding people (sorry that the bounce house and snow cones didn’t happen; thanks neighborhood power outage!)
  • Helping Kids Heal – collectively, we raised $25,184 to help kids and their families with serious illnesses at Flying Horse Farms and Ronald McDonald House

Thank you to all of our sponsors, who allow every dollar of registration and donations to go directly to FHF and RMCH, including our sponsors:

Samir Dahman Graduates from Leadership Columbus

On June 6, 2019, Mr. Dahman graduated from Leadership Columbus’ Signature Program.

Leadership Columbus is a unique combination of relationship-building, learning, problem-solving, civic engagement and personal growth.

The program structure has evolved over the years to truly reflect a product that motivates, informs, and connects individuals ready to take on the challenges and opportunities faced by our community, their companies and their families.

Annually, 55-65 individuals are selected from a pool of applicants to build a class representative of the Greater Columbus area. The result is a class of professionals who are ready to hone their leadership skills and talents and connect them to community causes about which they are passionate.

The Signature Program is a 10-month experience designed to give participants the tools they need to become active and influential leaders in the community.

The program is a balanced combination of a retreat, monthly program days and a Community Impact Project. In September, a mandatory two-day retreat helps participants focus on their personal leadership style and skills. The retreat is complemented by nine monthly program days that focus on the significant challenges to the Central Ohio region. Issues covered include the economy, diversity, the justice system, public education and human and social service issues.

Samir Dahman joins Leadership Columbus Class of 2019

Samir Dahman is honored to join several other budding Columbus civic leaders as part of the Leadership Columbus Class of 2019.

Leadership Columbus is a unique combination of relationship-building, learning, problem-solving, civic engagement and personal growth. Annually, 55-65 individuals are selected from a pool of applicants to build a class representative of the Greater Columbus area. The result is a class of professionals who are ready to hone their leadership skills and talents and connect them to community causes about which they are passionate.  It is a 10-month experience designed to give participants the tools they need to become active and influential leaders in the community.

Read more in the article in Columbus Business First.

Berkshire Triathlon Raises $40,671 for Flying Horse Farms and Ronald McDonald House

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Mr. Dahman, as co-founder of the Berkshire Triathlon, is pleased to announce that the 2018 Berkshire Triathlon raised $40,671 for Flying Horse Farms and Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio.

This year was the Berkshire Triathlon’s most successful year with 160 participants raising $37,000 for Flying Horse Farms and $3,671 for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio.

This could not have done this without Greif and Render as the Presenting Sponsor and supporting sponsors City Barbeque, Pediatric & Adolescent MedicineAry Roepcke Mulchaey, Zilla, SWS Partners, First Merchants, Budros Ruhlin & Roe, Upper Arlington Preventative Primary Care, Hosket Ulen, The Kullman Group, Riddell Law, Rose Bredle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Acre, Orthopedic One, Collins & Slagle, and ScottsMiracle-Grow.

 

Dahman and Ten Other KJK Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers

Samir Dahman, the Partner in Charge of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, LLP’s Columbus office, was selected for the fifth consecutive year as a 2018 Business Litigation Super Lawyers in Columbus by Ohio Super Lawyer magazine, following two years of being selected as a Rising Star.

Ten other KJK attorneys were also selected as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars, including Senior Partner Robert H. Jackson, Managing Partner Jon J. PinneySarah J. GabinetRobert S. Gilmore,  Jon W. GrozaAri H. JaffeJustine L. Konicki, Brett S. KrantzAlan M. Rauss, and Susan O. Scheutzow.

The Super Lawyers selection process evaluates lawyers based upon multiple criteria, including professional achievement and peer recognition; honors and awards; firm and bar involvement and leadership; scholarship and professional writings; community service and pro bono activities; and other outstanding achievements.

“Rising Stars” are the top up-and-coming attorneys who are no more than 40 years old or who have been practicing for no more than 10 years.