On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA made an announcement that came as a shock to many.
Regarding an argument that has spanned from college athletics, to professional athletes commenting on it, to Governor of California issuing a bill to better the situation, the NCAA has started the process to “enhance name, image and likeness opportunities” for collegiate athletes.
The NCAA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to make the change to college athletics and has directed each of the NCAA’s three divisions to look into change of the laws in place to fit the new standard.
Chair of the Board of Governors and President of Ohio State University Michael V. Drake issued the following statement.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes. 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.”
According to NCAA.com and the news story that followed the statement, they will try to hit the following points, as they work with the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group.
Assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
Maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
Ensure rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
Make clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.
Make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
Reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.
Enhance principles of diversity, inclusion and gender equity.
Protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.
The decision was made after much deliberation between the NCAA and the Working Group, who provided several suggestions on how to make the change.
The NCAA has said that they have asked each division to start working on reforming the law now and not any later than January 2021.
“The working group will continue to gather feedback through April on how best to respond to the state and federal legislative environment and to refine its recommendations on the principles and regulatory framework. The board asked each division to create any new rules beginning immediately, but no later than January 2021,” according to the NCAA’s statement.