Charley Cross Country is a student-athlete at Ocean State University. Charley allowed the use of her name and photograph to promote a social event via a social networking site. Specifically, a friend who works for a local promotional firm contacted Charley asking if she would be interested in having a birthday party at a local nightclub. Charley agreed to the party. Without Charley’s knowledge, her friend designed a digital poster to promote the party using Charley’s name and photo that included the name of promotional firm and commercial establishment where the party would be held. Charley ‘s friend sent the poster to Charley via a social networking site. Charley did not sign a contract with either the commercial establishment, nor did she receive any compensation or remuneration for use of her name and picture. Charley stated she did not realize that sending the poster to others via her social networking site would be considered an advertisement for the promotional firm and commercial establishment. Charley was only hoping to promote her own birthday party. Charley attended the party and paid a cover charge, but did not receive any benefits.
Is this a violation?
Yes. NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 states that after becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:
(a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or
(b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.
This is an actual fact pattern for a secondary violation posted on LSDBi. In this case, the student-athlete was instructed to remove the poster from his social networking site and a cease-and-desist letter was sent to promotional firm which included education about using student-athlete names and pictures. Lastly, the violation was discussed at the next coaches meeting.