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Pauline Thiros, Director of Athletics Idaho State University, said the school is still working on developing its own NIL policies and the guidelines.

It’s been nearly a week since the NCAA passed rules that allow college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness (NIL). The new rules make endorsements, autograph signings and camps permissible profit avenues for student-athletes, ushering in a seismic shift in the college sports landscape.

Yet the aftershock hasn’t quite been felt in Pocatello.

Idaho was one of just 10 states in the country – including nearby Utah and Wyoming – that had not introduced any NIL laws in its state legislature before this summer. That meant colleges in Idaho had no framework to rely on when the NCAA waited until the eleventh hour to pass its own NIL rules just before July 1, when NIL laws in a number of states were set to go into effect.

As a result, Idaho State is still working on developing its own NIL policies and the guidelines it will abide by when athletes start garnering money-making opportunities.

“(Our policies) will be in place 100% before student-athletes get to campus,” Idaho State Director of Athletics Pauline Thiros said. “And, really, the only additional things to figure out are in what cases are we going to allow the university brand, image and logos going to be used or are we at all going to give permission to do that?

“And how are we going to treat some of the corporate sponsors? Are there going to be certain relationships that we exclude from opportunity for student-athletes? We just haven’t been sure how we want to treat those.”

Because the NCAA opened the gateway to NIL compensation without releasing a strict set of guidelines to govern the practice, Idaho State’s athletic department has plenty of leeway to answer those questions. The school isn’t bound by state laws or conference policy, as the Big Sky Conference is so far allowing its member schools to set their own rules on NIL compensation.

For instance, it’s unlikely that ISU will allow its athletes to directly promote alcoholic beverages. But does that prohibition extend to a local bar? What about a brewery, or restaurant that also happens to sell alcohol?

Also to be decided are potential sanctions. NCAA rules allow for punishments up to and including pulling a scholarship if student-athletes violate NIL policies — for example, promoting that local bar after ISU determined that was against the rules.

“Is it allowed? It’s allowed,” said Cody Sparrow, an assistant AD for compliance at Idaho State. “The university can decide at that point, are we going to honor your scholarship when you go do a sponsorship that goes against the mission of the university?”

The key to that not happening, Sparrow noted, is creating an open dialogue between student-athletes and compliance officials, who will be in the loop for any NIL-related endeavor an athlete pursues.

If a student-athlete signed an endorsement deal or got paid for autographs or wanted to hold a paid camp, they would have to fill out an NCAA-created disclosure form, get permission to use ISU logos and get a thumbs-up from the compliance staff that their opportunity doesn’t violate any university standards.

That may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through, a lot of little pathways that need to be navigated for a student-athlete to receive compensation and stay within the rules. This isn’t kids raking in cash under the table. These are real-world deals, which means Idaho State needs to give real-world education to its student-athletes who may be embarking into the business world for the first time in their life.

“ISU is unique in the approach that we are using our College of Business, and I think that’s a huge strength,” Thiros said. “It includes things like sales skills and professional development, understanding taxes, understanding contracts, social media marketing, financial literacy, personal branding, entrepreneurship, and working within the legislative environment.

“I think it’ll evolve and they’ll learn a lot about making an enterprise happen.”