Welcome to the Southern Miss To The Top Exchange
Connect and work with athletes from
University of Southern Mississippi
What is Southern Miss To The Top Local Exchange?
Southern Miss To The Top Exchange is a student-athlete NIL business registry, custom-designed for businesses, donors, alumni, and any other interested NIL dollars wishing to connect with Southern Miss student athletes. Registered businesses can search, filter and initiate conversations with Southern Miss student-athletes to discuss an NIL deal. Once the NIL deal between a registered business and a Southern Miss student-athlete is completed, the business will use the Southern Miss To The Top Exchange to create a transaction that will produce a direct payment to the student-athlete (without any transaction fee) and automate a disclosure to the Southern Miss INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger. Southern Miss and its staff will not be involved in the deal and all transactions within the local exchange are consolidated into one 1099 at the end of the year for easier tax reporting purposes for registered businesses and athletes.
Southern Miss Name, Image, and Likeness Compensation Policy
∙ Employees of the University of Southern Mississippi may not compensate or arrange any compensation deals for current or prospective student-athletes related to his/her NIL ∙ Compensation must be commensurate with the market value
∙ Student-athletes cannot be compensated for athletic performance or attendance at the University of Southern Mississippi
∙ Compensation may be in the form of money, goods, or services
∙ Contracts related to NIL activities cannot extend beyond a student-athletes’ participation in intercollegiate athletics at the University of Southern Mississippi
∙ NIL opportunities must not conflict with academic nor team-related activities pursuant to our policy
∙ Use of any registered marks or logos owned and protected by the University of Southern Mississippi is not permitted unless written permission is provided
∙ Student-athletes must disclose NIL agreements/contracts in ARMS and INFLCR ∙ Student-athletes are permitted to obtain professional representation to assist with securing opportunities for compensation. Representation must be limited to name, image, and likeness and not for future professional contract negotiations.
What is Name, Image & Likeness?
As of July 1st, 2021, student-athletes are allowed to be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). These opportunities may include activities such as business endorsements, selling autographs, personal appearances (e.g. speeches, commercials), promoting their own business or social media endorsements. Below is helpful information for student athletes, supports of Southern Miss Athletics, and employees of the University of Southern Mississippi relative to Mississippi’s NIL state law.
Does the state of Mississippi have an NIL Policy?
Can a University employee or coach help arrange a deal for an athlete?
No. University employees, including coaches and members of the athletics department, CANNOT negotiate deals or contracts. However, they can direct student athletes to NIL related opportunities on the To The Top Exchange.
May a booster or fan enter into an agreement with a University of Southern Mississippi (“Southern Miss”) student-athlete (“SA”) for the use of the SA’s name, image, or likeness (“NIL”) in exchange for money, goods, or services?
Yes, subject to restrictions imposed by Mississippi law. Before entering such contract, a SA must disclose any proposed NIL agreement to Southern Miss.
May Southern Miss employees assist with arranging for student-athletes to utilize their NIL for compensation with businesses, etc.?
No, Southern Miss employees may not arrange for our SAs to participate in NIL contracts or activities. Mississippi law prohibits the institution from providing SAs NIL compensation.
Will Southern Miss assist SAs with other NIL-related issues?
Yes, Southern Miss will have an educational program to inform and help SAs with NIL related questions.
Are there any industries or products that student-athletes may not endorse?
Yes, Mississippi law prohibits a SA from entering into a contract for the endorsement or promotion of:
∙ Sports betting
∙ Alcohol products
∙ Performance enhancing supplements
∙ Adult entertainment
∙ Any other product or service that is reasonably considered to be inconsistent with the values or mission of the University of Southern Mississippi
May a SA be compensated based on their performance at Southern Miss?
May a SA be compensated for their NIL when the SA is engaged in official team activities?
No. If a student-athlete is doing anything on the behalf of Southern Miss, they cannot concurrently engage in an NIL activity. In addition, SAs cannot miss class, mandatory academic responsibilities, or other mandatory Southern Miss activities to participate in NIL activities.
Are there any stipulations on the length of a SA’s NIL contract?
The duration of the SA’s contract may not extend beyond the SA’s participation in intercollegiate athletics at Southern Miss.
May SAs hire professional representation for NIL-related activities?
Yes. Per Mississippi state law, SAs can obtain professional representation for NIL related activities only. Representation cannot be for future professional contract negotiations. Professional representation must be from persons registered as athlete agents per the Uniform Athlete Agent Act. Attorneys who provide legal representation to SAs must be licensed to practice law in the state of Mississippi and in good standing with the Mississippi Bar.
Can Southern Miss marks, logos, or other intellectual property be used in a proposed NIL contract with a Southern Miss SA?
No, Mississippi state law prohibits SAs from receiving compensation for the use of their NIL in a way that also uses any registered or licensed marks, logos, verbiage, or designs of Southern Miss without prior written consent.
Are there any parameters related to how much a SA can be paid for their NIL?
Any payment received must be for work actually performed, not conditioned on athletic performance or attendance at Southern Miss, and at a rate commensurate with their abilities and the marketplace.
Can international student-athletes benefit from NIL activities?
Yes. International student-athletes are covered by the NIL policy; however, they may consider consulting with government agencies or the Southern Miss International Office for guidance related to visa and tax implications.
May boosters use NIL opportunities to assist Southern Miss in recruiting?
No. You cannot enter into an agreement with a student-athlete or prospective student athlete with the intention of securing their enrollment at Southern Miss.
May boosters engage in NIL activities with high school student-athletes?
Prospective student-athletes may engage in the same types of NIL opportunities available to current student-athletes without impacting eligibility. However, prospective student athletes should consult with the MHSAA regarding questions pertaining to high school eligibility.
Does the school or INFLCR take any revenue from NIL transactions in the Local Exchange?
Do you have to be an official university licensee to register?
No, but businesses will not be permitted to use university marks without proper authorization from Southern Miss. To apply for licensing, follow these steps.
Who approves your request to register?
Typically, compliance officers designated by the institution. If you have any questions about your approval, contact the compliance office.
How will I know when I am approved?
You should receive an email from the institution verifying your approval. We don’t have specific numbers for how long it will take to get verified. Each institution works differently.
When can I start contacting athletes and processing payments?
After being approved by the school, you will be able to contact athletes and process payments in January 2022.