College athletes can now benefit from name, image, and likeness, NCAA says

Sports

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — College athletes in all 50 states will now be able to monetize their name, image and likeness starting July 1, according to the NCAA.

Previously doing so was a violation of NCAA rules. However, with the rise of alternate avenues for high school athletes to make money, like going to the NBA’s developmental league for a season or taking their talents overseas, particularly in basketball, the NCAA’s hand was forced prompting this move to position themselves to retain said athletes.

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Governance bodies in all three divisions today adopted a uniform interim policy suspending NCAA name, image and likeness rules for all incoming and current student-athletes in all sports.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

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The policy provides the following guidance to college athletes, recruits, their families and member schools:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law. 
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

“Today, NCAA members voted to allow college athletes to benefit from name, image and likeness opportunities, no matter where their school is located,” said Division I Board of Directors chair Denise Trauth, president at Texas State. “With this interim solution in place, we will continue to work with Congress to adopt federal legislation to support student-athletes.”

While opening name, image and likeness opportunities to student-athletes, the policy in all three divisions preserves the commitment to avoid pay-for-play and improper inducements tied to choosing to attend a particular school. Those rules remain in effect.

“The new policy preserves the fact college sports are not pay-for-play,” said Division II Presidents Council chair Sandra Jordan, chancellor at the University of South Carolina Aiken. “It also reinforces key principles of fairness and integrity across the NCAA and maintains rules prohibiting improper recruiting inducements. It’s important any new rules maintain these principles.”

Division III Presidents Council chair Fayneese Miller, president at Hamline, said the Association will continue to work with Congress to develop a national law that will help colleges and universities, student-athletes and their families better navigate the name, image and likeness landscape.

“The new interim policy provides college athletes and their families some sense of clarity around name, image and likeness, but we are committed to doing more,” Miller said. “We need to continue working with Congress for a more permanent solution.”

The temporary policy will remain in place until federal legislation or new NCAA rules are adopted. With the NIL interim policy, schools and conferences may choose to adopt their own additional policies.

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