Alicia Jessop makes the case for international student athletes with latest post | Writing
In the spring of 2022, Seaver College associate professor of sports administration Alicia Jessop published her article, “International Intercollegiate Athletes: A Legal Pathway to Benefit from Their Name, Image, and Likeness in the United States,” with the California Journal of Western International Law.
Jessop details the conflicting legal environment that international athletes encounter when competing in the United States. Specifically, she explains how current visa laws prevent non-US citizens from earning funds based on their name, image, and likeness (NIL), which is a right currently granted to native competitors.
“I have been a sports lawyer for over a decade and most of my research focuses on the rights and welfare of college athletes. Since 2010, I have used my knowledge, background and profession to advocate for increased rights for college athletes,” says Jessop. “A right they have achieved, beginning in 2021, is the right to profit from their name, image and likeness. This was a watershed moment in NCAA history because, for the first time , it was legal for college athletes to get a slice of the multi-billion dollar pie that is college sports.
Still, Jessop acknowledged that 12.1% of NCAA Division I athletes would not be able to take advantage of this new opportunity due to their F-1 student visa status. In her text, she gives an overview and explanations regarding the current visa laws and how they impede profitability. In addition, she proposes an amendment to these regulations that would allow international athletes to benefit from their NIL, given the correct qualifications.
“What is unique about the issue of college athlete rights, which includes compensation, is the fact that it has become a bipartisan issue. The people opposite are teaming up to draft a bill,” reports Jessop, who has worked alongside Congress before. “Because there are so many issues facing the nation, the likelihood of this getting airtime is pretty slim. However, it is an issue that is important to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Alicia Jessop is a contributor for Athleticism and The Washington Post. Her research focuses on the well-being of athletes, creators and consumers, as well as the leadership of women in the sports and entertainment industries.
To learn more about “International Varsity Athletes: A Legal Pathway to Benefit From Their Name, Image, and Likeness in the United States,” visit the California Western International Law Journal website.