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The NCAA Board of Governors recently received a lengthy 31-page report from the “Federal and State Legislation Working Group” suggesting broad recommendations for new rules that will permit student-athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness.

When approved, student-athletes will be able to accept payment within the NCAA rules for a wide range of activities. However, many details remain to be proposed, discussed and finalized.

Some of the basic guidelines for development of these new rules include:

  • Student-athletes will not be paid for these types of activities by their respective schools or conferences, or by the NCAA.
  • Student-athletes should have the same opportunities as the general student body to be compensated for their particular skills, ability, and name recognition except when there are compelling reasons to the contrary. (Examples: I’m sure that athletes will not be allowed to promote tobacco products, nor will underage athletes be permitted to endorse alcohol products.)
  • Education and progress toward a student-athlete’s degree must continue to be priorities. (Student-athletes will likely be prohibited from missing class to make a personal appearance, record a commercial or participate in any similar activity.)
  • Rules regarding these activities must be able to be enforceable and monitored for compliance with these rules (perhaps the hardest part of this whole concept in my opinion!!!).
  • Student-athletes will not be allowed to affiliate with a professional sports team and will not be allowed to receive compensation based specifically on their athletic performance (no prize money or compensation based on place finish in competition).
  • Rules must protect fairness in the recruitment of prospects or impermissible tampering with currently enrolled student-athletes.
  • A number of states have proposed or passed legislation within their own states to permit student-athletes to receive compensation for endorsement or promotional activities. The NCAA will be working with Congressional representatives to preempt state laws so that there can be consistency for all NCAA member institutions and their student-athletes.

Types of Activities that Will be Permissible for Student-Athletes Within the New Rules (pending approval):

Student-athletes will be allowed to receive compensation for:

  • Promoting local, regional or national businesses through personal appearances, appearing in commercials, or as social media “brand ambassadors.”
  • Modeling or signing autographs.
  • Their own creative endeavors such as acting, singing, or selling their artwork.
  • Giving private lessons or tutoring.
  • Conducting or providing research or class projects for or to private companies.

Much progress still needs to be made on establishing details and receiving feedback from various NCAA constituencies. However, the NCAA Board of Governors remain committed to having the three NCAA divisions prepare specific legislative proposals in time for the January 2021 NCAA Convention.

We will keep you updated as we learn more details and receive additional information.

Yesterday, the NCAA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to begin the legislative process that will permit NCAA student-athletes to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

This vote regarding the potential use of an athlete’s “name, image, or likeness” (commonly referred to as “NIL”) paves the way for student-athletes to potentially receive payment for their autographs, for personal appearances, and for their picture or image (and possibly their voice) to promote commercial products and services.

Developing these new rules will certainly be no easy task.

The Board in conjunction with a “Federal and State Legislation Working Group” has established a list of principles and guidelines to direct the work of the NCAA, conferences, and university representatives in all three divisions as they develop and propose appropriate legislation to be considered by NCAA member institutions.

Among these principles and guidelines are the following:

  • “Ensure rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.”
  • “Protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.”
  • “Maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.”

As you might imagine, I have many questions as to how this will play out over the coming months.

  • For example, how will the NCAA create rules that will allow campus compliance administrators to determine, much less enforce how much a student-athlete’s signature, personal appearance at an event, or use of likeness is worth?
  • How will standards be set such that universities with large alumni bases and/or that are located in large metropolitan areas with thousands of businesses won’t have a recruiting advantage over mid-major and smaller universities in the Midwest or great plains states because of the endorsement opportunities that will be available to athletes at those larger universities?

The Board of Governors has expressed a desire for each NCAA division to come up with new rules as soon as possible, but no later than January 2021. For the full NCAA press release, click on this link:  https://bit.ly/2JxUsu8.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.  In the meantime, if you have any questions call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.