On Tuesday, LEAD1 Association (“LEAD1”) released its 12th episode of the “LEAD1 Angle with Tom McMillen.” In this latest episode, McMillen is joined by Richard Giller, Partner at Pillsbury, a familiar guest for the LEAD1 audience who appeared on a LEAD1 panel last year providing expertise on the impact of event cancellation and business interruption insurance for college sports. This time, the focus of McMillen and Giller’s conversation centered on possible name, image, and likeness (NIL) insurance issues as well as other insurance topics that athletic departments should be thinking about.
With regard to NIL, the recent Tiger Woods car crash got Giller thinking about endorsement insurance issues for college sports. Giller, a Los Angeles resident who was on the road that day, actually saw Woods’ recently flipped car right after the crash. From an NIL standpoint, Giller talks about how it is common for endorsement deals to have a “pay for play clause” where an athlete could be required to actively play his or her sport (as opposed to, for example, being permanently sidelined from injury) to receive endorsement payment pursuant to the contract. Giller thinks this situation would only apply towards big national NIL contracts at the college level, given that the threshold for professional athlete endorsement contracts is typically at least $500,000.
Giller also described other insurance policies that all college athletes should consider. While the NCAA provides permanent total disability (PTD) coverage (i.e., lump sum for not being able to play sports again), the NCAA does not offer loss of value (LOV) insurance (i.e., injured, but not permanently) because the coverage has not shown to consistently benefit athletes who file a claim. According to Giller, “the bigger the claim, the more likely to be denied by an insurance company.”
In addition, McMillen and Giller discussed the trend of NCAA Student Assistance Fund (SAF) monies being more and more directed towards paying insurance premiums as opposed to other intended areas for student-athletes such as educational, health, safety, and personal or family expenses.
More can be found in the interview on coverage for COVID-19 insurance claims.