NCAA to adjust name, image and likeness rules after competition with NBA

By Dylan Manfre

The NCAA has put a final date on the name, image and likeness debate: January 2021 with the new rules will be in effect for the 2021-2022 academic year.

On April 29, the NCAA Board of Governors announced it “supported rule changes to allow student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics.”

This can also come in the form of athletes profiting off social media and personal businesses and appearances as long as they comply with the rules that the board outlined in October 2019.

One hypothetical example of this would be if a Rider basketball player was in negotiations with a company, he or she would only be able to say that they attend the university and is a member of the basketball team. They cannot use the Rider University logo or the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference logo in any conversation.

“The gist of the NIL proposal is to permit student-athletes to benefit off their own personal name, image, and likeness exclusively and not promote any of their intercollegiate affiliations, per se,” Rider University Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Greg Busch said.

The announcement makes clear the distinction that student-athletes are not employees of the institution they attend and that universities will not compensate them under any circumstances.

The NCAA also included a 31-page report detailing the meeting which says the three divisions should consider issues such as “Whether certain categories of third-party businesses (e.g., athletics shoe and apparel companies) should be precluded from, or have limited participation in, the newly permitted activities, due to their history of encouraging or facilitating recruiting and other rules infractions;”

The report indicated that the NCAA is not recommending changes to group licenses. The report specifically categorizes video games as group products siting: “There are legal hurdles to such activity that preclude it as a realistic option for implementation at this time. The working group recommends that the NCAA continue to explore whether those legal hurdles can be overcome through efforts described in Section VI, so that this issue can be revisited in 2021 or later.”

In September 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation allowing student-athletes to profit off name image and likeness beginning in 2023. However, the NCAA desired congressional action because of two potential roadblocks one of them being “the attempts by various state laws to override, in whole or in part, the NCAA’s ability effectively to manage issues related to NIL.”

The report says that 34 states have introduced their own legislation regarding compensation of student-athletes but only California and Colorado’s bills have become law.

The NCAA’s announcement is timely, as numerous top-high school recruits have recently elected to bypass playing college basketball and play for an NBA G-League select team. The G-League is also considering offering players academic scholarships. The “select contract” would see players earn $125,000 for the five-month duration of the G-League season.

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