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Lacrosse Player’s Business Not Banned by the NCAA

Andrew Duffy, an incoming freshman lacrosse player at SUNY-Cortland, was advised by his college coaches to stop operating a lacrosse stick stringing business he was running. Duffy attributed his decision to go along with their advice to the ongoing Johnny Manziel saga. That in itself is noteworthy, that the Manziel cases has spooked coaches as far away from big-time college football as Division III lacrosse. But the dangers of his business were not what was claimed in the Bedford Daily Voice:

According to NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to benefit financially from a business involving the sport they play.

This is simply not true. Athletes are permitted to operate all sorts of business related to their sport. Chief among them is that athletes are permitted to teach private lessons in their sport. Modifying, repairing, and selling equipment for a sport is well within the bounds of NCAA rules, provided (of course) some conditions are met.

What is not permitted is for an athlete to use his or her name, likeness, or athletic reputation to promote their business. Duffy had been doing a lot of promotion on social media, but under business accounts like a Top Knotch Facebook page and Instagram account. It definitely takes some care, but Duffy could have continued the business during his college career, as long as he kept his name off it. Whether he should have to is another debate.

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