Tennessee Head Football Coach Josh Heupel has joined the federal lawsuit against the NCAA challenging the ban on name, image, and likeness compensation during recruitment of college athletes. Heupel filed a declaration in support of the lawsuit, stating that the ban denies athletes necessary information to make important decisions about their future.
Heupel emphasized the potential negative consequences of choosing the wrong school, stating that it can impact athletes' happiness, mental health, personal development, and professional future. He also highlighted the risk of NCAA punishments leading athletes to attend unfit schools.
In his declaration, Heupel stressed the importance of clear and trustworthy dialogue about NIL opportunities, as these deals may be the only compensation college athletes receive in their playing careers. He warned of the possibility of athletes being tricked by false promises of NIL deals that never materialize.
The lawsuit argues that the NCAA rules violate federal antitrust rules and promote unfair business practices. Ending the NIL rules would make the University of Tennessee even more competitive in recruiting top athletes, according to Heupel's declaration.
A preliminary injunction hearing in the case is scheduled for February 13.