NFLPA partners with college players group in pursuit of name, image, likeness rights from NCAA

A college players' rights group has entered into a partnership with the NFL Players Association to explore how to maximize name, image and likeness rights.

The NFLPA and National College Players Association (NCPA) announced jointly on Monday that the partnership that will "explore opportunities for" college athletes in merchandise, gaming, licensed products and "how recent developments impact television broadcast revenues in pursuit of fairness."

The collaboration will offer "group licensing representation that is available to every college athlete whose state passes a law to allow it," according to a press release.

California's Fair Pay to Play Act granting college athletes in that state the ability to profit off their name, image and likeness goes into effect in 2023. A similar bill has been proposed in Florida, but it would go into effect far sooner -- July 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania bill is expected to be introduced soon.

The NCAA currently prohibits athletes from profiting off their name, image and likeness. An NCAA working group is expected to release a "set of principles" Tuesday for the association's board of governors to review. 

The NFLPA's group licensing subsidiary REP Worldwide will look into marketing "the group licensing rights of college athletes of all sports," the release stated.

"REP Worldwide was created to offer all athletes the same world class service the NFL players have when companies want to partner with athletes to market their likeness, image and personalities," said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director.

The NCPA is a non-profit advocacy group for players' rights. It has been behind legislative action on the local, state and national level and is made up of more than 20,000 current and former college athletes.

The NFLPA was founded in 1956. Its current collective bargaining agreement with the NFL expires in 2020.

The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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