Monday, January 24, 2022

Foreign college athletes stand out from the crowd for zero profit | Nation World News

STORRS, Conn ( Associated Press) — UConn forward Dorka Juhaz, like many of her teammates, was excited to hear that college athletes would be allowed to make money through celebrity endorsements and other means.

Problem? Juhas, who hails from Hungary, is among more than 12% of college athletes in the US—including more than 3,000 Division I athletes— Most of whom are in school on F-1 student visas in accordance with the NCAA.

Those visas prevent students from working off-campus except in rare authorized exceptions, such as participating in internships or their fields of study, said Dinsey PC’s Leigh Cole, an immigration attorney who works with education clients and employers. to work in Work on campus is limited to 20 hours a week or full-time during the summer and holidays, she said.

“If the school learns that one of their international student athletes is doing a side job, earning money from their name, image or likeness, the school is legally obligated to terminate their visa,” she said. “It has serious consequences.”

Juhaz and other international students say they have been told not to accept any void deals because of this possibility.

“Back in Europe, everyone is getting paid to play basketball, and obviously it’s not the same thing here,” she said earlier this month. “It was kind of disappointing, because we thought (NIL) was going to be equal opportunity, one of a kind. We thought we would have a chance to showcase ourselves, showcase our brand and build our brand.

Juhas, a transfer senior from Ohio State, is one of three Huskies on an F-1 visa, along with Nika Muhl, who is from Croatia, and Canadian Aaliyah Edwards. His coach, Zeno Auriemma, explains that he is among the majority of his players who are not getting zero deals.

“But international kids don’t even have the opportunity to see if anyone wants to do anything with them,” he said. “So, should they be treated like everyone else? Of course they should.”

Legal experts said the US policy to enforce student visa rules was formalized 20 years ago after the September 11 terrorist attacks to ensure that foreign nationals are actually in the country as it is on their visas. tells.

“We can’t really cross the border with having a work visa and not being able to study or just having a study visa and not being able to work,” Juhas said. “So, it’s tough.”

US Senator Christopher Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said he believes Congress should make exceptions to the work rules for student athletes. He also called for a federal law that would allow all college athletes to make money that goes beyond the NCAA’s July 1 decision to allow existing compensation based on the use of an athlete’s name, image or likeness.

“There’s something wrong with an industry that makes billions of dollars a year while many of its athletes can’t put food on the table or buy plane tickets for their parents,” he said. “At the very least, all college athletes deserve the ability to use their own name, image and likeness to see how they see fit, and this includes international athletes who have to lose their visa status and ability to pursue higher education. There is no need to worry about this. This country will also benefit.”

According to Opendorse, a company that helps athletes navigate the NIL landscape, the majority of athletes are not earning large enough from NIL compensation. The average for all DI student athletes between July 1 and November 30 was only $6 per month.

But for those who actually landed a NIL deal, the average compensation was $1,256, or $250 per month, said company chief executive officer Blake Lawrence.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re a student athlete, especially if you’re from a foreign country, that extra $300 a month, it’s some level of importance,” he said.

Yukon star Paige Buykers, who has already signed lucrative endorsement deals with Gatorade and clothing marketplace StockX, says she is well aware that she is being offered opportunities that are not available to her international peers.

“It hasn’t affected our chemistry at all,” she said. “But obviously, I want to share with people who can get those opportunities, I want to share stuff from my deal with them. Anything we can do to make them feel like they have an equal opportunity.” I know I think they are fighting this. This needs to be changed. Whatever I can do to help them, I want to do that.”

The NCAA said it is possible for athletes earning money through the NIL to give some gifts to their teammates.

“First, the school must confirm whether zero activity is permitted under the current zero policy,” said NCAA spokeswoman Sakundra Heath. “If this is permissible, a student-athlete may make an appropriate gift to a teammate, provided it is given under normal circumstances of a personal relationship/friendship. The gift must be commensurate with what other students who are friends would make a You can give gifts to others.”

There may be other errors.

For example, if Juhaz gets a zero deal in Hungary, works in that country and is paid outside the United States, it probably won’t be a problem, experts said.

Lawrence said that students who sign a “passive” void deal—meaning they’re not making a television commercial or running a camp, are simply signing a deal that makes their name on T-shirts. Can be used on something like – it might be fine if they sign the document in their home country. He said he is aware of several Canadian athletes who go back home to make social media postings so they don’t violate US visa laws.

Still, Peter Schöenthal, who runs Athletes, another firm that helps schools comply with NIL regulations, as well as state and federal laws, said the system is so confusing that most schools allow international students to be in some form. Will also ask to avoid all NIL opportunities to prevent possible. Violation.

“Remember, that’s not how the school interprets the law,” he said. “It’s not how your attorney interprets the law. It’s not how the student interprets the law. That’s how the federal government interprets it. So, if you go out and make a void deal because you’ve Explained that the law allows you to bargain and the federal government disagrees, then the federal government wins. That’s the risk.”

Meanwhile, international students keep looking outside, which is disappointing for players like Florida player Jeremy Croshaw, who is from Australia.

“It’s kind of because I’ve had some people come and ask,” he said. “But, I mean, life goes on with or without it. As long as I’m here and playing football, I’m really over the moon.”

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More Associated Press Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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