NCAA Eliminates NIL Restrictions, Allowing Athletes To Make Money
The NCAA, which screamed that day, announced what it called an interim policy allowing college athletes to benefit financially from their name, image and likeness, starting Thursday.
The announcement suspends all existing NIL rules that the NCAA has clung to and allows athletes to begin accepting the benefits of approval associated with the use of their name, image or likeness in any legal activity.
This paves the way for athletes to potentially make money through autograph signatures, personal appearances, referrals, through their social media platforms or by offering classes or sponsoring sports camps.
Athletes will be allowed to sign with agents for the purpose of helping them enter into sponsorship agreements.
NCAA President Mark Emmert, who led the way for the NCAA by dragging its feet on it, called it an “important day for college athletes,” adding that the NCAA will continue to work with Congress to “develop a solution that will bring clarity on a national level.
Seven states have already passed laws that would allow athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities, which has practically forced the NCAA’s hand to ensure a level playing field across the country.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas had already passed laws allowing college athletes to start making money as early as Thursday. The NCAA had hoped Congress would adopt a national policy, but Washington has refused to act on the issue so far.
At least for now, it doesn’t matter. Athletes at all schools, including California, can now find creative ways to make money that were heretofore considered a violation of NCAA rules.
The change was approved by the NCAA board of directors on Wednesday after a recommendation Monday from the NCAA Division I board which includes conference commissioners and college athletic directors.
Here are the key points from Wednesday’s NCAA announcement:
- Individuals can engage in NIL activities that comply with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether these activities comply with state law.
- College athletes attending a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without breaking any NCAA name, image, and likeness rules.
- Individuals can use a professional service provider for NIL activities.
- Student-athletes should report to their school NIL activities that comply with state law or school and conference requirements.
Cal’s athletic director Jim Knowlton touched on the subject in his monthly report, “Knowlton’s Notes,” which was released ahead of the NCAA announcement:
“Nationally, I expect this year to bring a lot of changes in varsity athletics with the implementation of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation and new guidelines following the recent Alston decision of the United States Supreme Court which removes the limits. on education-related benefits.
“Over the past several months, we have been studying the issues through a working group that includes staff, coaches, current and former student-athletes and members of our faculty.
“We will always be in favor of supporting our student-athletes and very soon we will be announcing a comprehensive plan around the NIL that leverages some of the vast resources of the nation’s No.1 public university, such as the Cameron Institute, the ‘INFLCR and experts across campus.
“We are also reviewing the Alston case with our Pac-12 and NCAA colleagues to understand its implications and how to comply with the ruling. I’m sure there will be a lot more to come as the varsity sports environment continues to evolve.
The Alston case was settled by the Supreme Court last week, allowing schools to reward athletes for their achievements in the classroom, including academic awards and paid internships. The NCAA had to review that decision and recognize that the courts no longer seemed interested in providing them with antitrust coverage.
Wednesday’s decision represents another step in removing the facade of amateurism in a college landscape where football and basketball coaches often earn seven-figure salaries, TV money is huge and the fans pay hundreds of dollars to attend major college football and basketball games.
But this change doesn’t involve sharing NCAA or college revenue with athletes, and it doesn’t address important issues like workers compensation or long-term health insurance to cover injuries. suffered during the performance of a school. Until these issues are resolved, we can expect continued legal assaults on the status quo of college sports.
The reality is that many varsity athletes will not take advantage of this opportunity in any meaningful way. The utility infielder on the baseball team or the second doubles player on the women’s tennis team may find limited opportunities to make money.
But top basketball and soccer athletes might start making money they didn’t expect until they turned pro. Some wonder if an elite basketball hopeful, convinced that he can now make money playing varsity ball, could temporarily wait a year before moving on to the G League or possibly the NBA, to provided that the league eliminates its unique rules.
And Olympic sports stars could also enter into sponsorship deals related to equipment or products that were not previously licensed.