NCAA Division I Council Proposes Student-Athletes Be Allowed to Profit From their Name, Likeness

The ongoing debate surrounding the controversy of student-athletes in college programs unable to profit off their name and likeness has reached another pinnacle.

The issue at hand is how to properly compensate college student-athletes for their name, image, and likeness. For many years, there has been an outcry about universities making millions from students who make no money except obtaining an education through athletic scholarships.

Well, that practice looks like it is coming to an end.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the organization’s bid to maintain limits on education-related compensation that critics have said help maintain the fiction of amateurism in college sports.

The High Court unanimously ruled the NCAA’s restrictions on non-cash payments to college athletes related to education–including benefits such as computers, science equipment, and musical instruments–are anticompetitive under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The NCAA is the major governing body for U.S. intercollegiate sports.

Earlier this week, the Division I Council voted to recommend that the Division I Board of Directors adopt an interim policy that would suspend amateurism rules related to name, image, and likeness (NIL) for student-athletes.

The proposed policy, which can be read on the website, states:

“While opening NIL activities to student-athletes, the policy leaves in place the commitment to avoid pay-for-play and improper inducements tied to choosing to attend a particular school. Those prohibitions would remain in effect.

“If adopted by the board, the temporary action would remain in place until federal legislation or new NCAA rules are adopted. The policy provides the following guidance to member schools, student-athletes, and their families:

  • College athletes 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.
  • Student-athletes who attend a school in a state without a NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image, and likeness.
  • College athletes 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.

“With the NIL interim policy, schools and conferences may choose to adopt their own policies.”

The board was scheduled to review the Council’s recommendation and any additional information that comes to light.