The NCAA is one step closer to allowing student-athletes to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness.
On Wednesday, the NCAA Board of Governors announced recommendations for its three divisions to begin changing their rules to allow student-athletes to receive endorsements both related to athletics and not. The divisions are expected to make these changes by January 2021.
The plan, which the NCAA announced will go into effect at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, will include compensation from social media opportunities, businesses owned by the student-athlete and personal appearances.
“Throughout our efforts to enhance support for college athletes, the NCAA has relied upon considerable feedback from and the engagement of our members, including numerous student-athletes, from all three divisions,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory.”
In developing the new rules regarding the use of name, image and likeness, these divisions must also adhere to recommendations from the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group.
“The NCAA’s work to modernize name, image and likeness continues, and we plan to make these important changes on the original timeline, no later than January 2021,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State senior vice president and athletics director and working group co-chair. “The board’s decision today provides further guidance to each division as they create and adopt appropriate rules changes.”
According to the group’s report, these guidelines are in place to ensure the payment an athlete may receive can’t be considered “pay to play,” schools and conferences are not involved in the payment, the idea is not used in recruiting practices, the use of agents and advisors is regulated, school and conference logos are not used and this move does not affect diversity, inclusion or gender equity.
“As we evolve, the Association will continue to identify the guardrails to further support student-athletes within the context of college sports and higher education,” said Val Ackerman, commissioner of the Big East and working group co-chair. “In addition, we are mindful of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education, college sports and students at large. We hope that modernized name, image and likeness rules will further assist college athletes during these unprecedented times and beyond.”
As 247sports’ Chris Hummer explained in a tweet, each of the three NCAA divisions have several deadlines to meet in order for the change to happen.
A timeline from the NCAA's report on how this process will work:Aug. 30: Divisions draft NIL proposals Oct. 31: Divisions revise proposals and make further recommendationsJan. 31, 2021: Divisions need to enact proposals— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) April 29, 2020
The NCAA has steadily been inching toward this move since Sept. 11, 2019, when California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 206. Also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, the bill would allow student-athletes in the state to financially profit from the use of their name, image and likeness, and was scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
On Oct. 29, 2019, the NCAA decided to “embrace change” to their previous stance on name, image and likeness use and encouraged the divisions to prepare rule changes for the future.