NCAA announces intention to allow student-athletes to benefit from their image
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will allow student athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness under the collegiate model, the NCAA’s top governing board unanimously approved yesterday, according to an NCAA press release.
The board has ordered each of the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updating its bylaws and policies relevant to the announcement, according to the release.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State University. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”
The board said the move to allow student athletes to benefit from their work should come with some guidelines, including maintaining education as a top priority, making the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities clear and reaffirming that student athletes are not employees of the University, according to the release.
The board’s decision was based on a recommendation from the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, a consortium of presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, administrators and student athletes, according to the release. The board also took opinions from legislators.
The group will continue to receive feedback until April, when they will decide how to best respond to the state and federal environment and then revise its regulations, according to the release. Each NCAA division must complete its new regulations by January 2021.
“As a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student athletes,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert, according to the release. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”
The decision of whether to allow student athletes to benefit from their image or be compensated in some way has been a divisive issue in college sports in recent years.
Rutgers said it is looking forward to a national solution to the issue.
“This is a complicated issue that will require a national solution. Obviously, the NCAA action today is moving us closer to that nationwide solution,” said Dory Devlin, a University spokesperson.
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