Division I Council News
April 4, 2020
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NCAA Expected to Allow Athletes to Profit off Their Likeness Starting in 2021-22

The NCAA announced Wednesday that the Board of Governors supported rule changes that will allow student-athletes to profit from their own likenesses beginning from the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

The NCAA noted that if the rule changes are officially passed, student-athletes will be able to get compensated for “third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics” and “social media, businesses they have started and personal appearances” as long as they exist within the NCAA’s guidelines.

While student-athletes are set to benefit from their likenesses, the NCAA divulged that it will still be illegal for universities or colleges to pay student-athletes for their names, images or likenesses.

Additionally, the NCAA stipulated that while student-athletes will be allowed to identify themselves by sport and school, they won’t be permitted to use school logos or trademarks in conjunction with their business ventures.

Ohio State president and Board of Governors chair Michael V. Drake called the rule changes “uncharted territory” and discussed the importance of working with Congress to ensure that the sanctity of the NCAA and its student-athletes remains intact:

“The evolving legal and legislative landscape around these issues not only could undermine college sports as a part of higher education but also significantly limit the NCAA’s ability to meet the needs of college athletes moving forward. We must continue to engage with Congress in order to secure the appropriate legal and legislative framework to modernize our rules around name, image and likeness. We will do so in a way that underscores the Association’s mission to oversee and protect college athletics and college athletes on a national scale.”

The NCAA noted that one of its biggest focuses amid the changes is “maintaining the distinction between college athletes and professional athletes.”

While pay for play in the NCAA has long been a hot-button topic, the new rules that have been supported specifically state that colleges and universities still cannot pay student-athletes. Any compensation a student-athlete receives must be from a third party.

Provided the rules are officially put in place for the 2021-22 academic year, it will alter the NCAA landscape significantly. Star student-athletes will now have an opportunity to earn significant compensation before ever making the decision to turn pro.

Although the NCAA didn’t specifically address it, there was some speculation the changes could lead to a return for the college sports video games. However, Big East commissioner Val Ackerman told reporters that a return for franchises like NCAA Football was “unworkable in college sports” because there is no unionization.


APRIL 29, 2020

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