NCAA board ‘concerned’ about some NIL agreements for athletes
College administrators are “concerned” that name, image and likeness agreements violate NCAA recruiting rules.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors released a statement shortly after 5 p.m. ET on Friday announcing that it had asked the Division I Board to review the impacts of the availability of sponsorship and endorsement deals. on college athletes.
“We are concerned that certain activities in the name, image and likeness space not only violate NCAA recruiting rules, particularly those prohibiting booster participation, but may also negatively impact the student-athlete experience in some respects,” chairman of the board and Georgia president Jere Morehead said in the NCAA statement. “We want to preserve the positive aspects of the new policy while considering whether anything can be done to mitigate the negatives.”
According to the council, “School involvement in arranging agreements was also a concern, as well as how best to ensure adequate student-athlete representation when negotiating the terms of contracts.” He also made another plea for federal legislation to govern college athlete endorsement deals.
The call for investigation can be read as an admission that college administrators failed to exercise due diligence when opening the sponsorship floodgates for varsity athletes. The NCAA and its member schools dithered for years to reform outdated amateurism rules that prevented players from making money on their image rights. After states like California and Florida stepped in to pass legislation replacing NCAA rules and allowing college athletes in those states to earn endorsement income and the NCAA was routed by a ruling 9-0 Supreme Court over athlete income caps, the governing body was forced to act.
Had the NCAA been proactive instead of reactive, it would have consciously mapped out the best ways to reform the rules that govern college athletes. Instead, the NCAA instituted sweeping reforms to get ahead of a myriad of state laws and crossed its fingers that the federal government would do the dirty work of crafting a framework of rules for them.
So far, that federal framework doesn’t seem close to happening. Conferences and schools have lobbied Congress to help them create rules, but nothing is imminent. This leaves the NCAA to possibly change its rules on its own after the current rules have been in place for one school year.
“We expect all members and their representatives to adhere to current NCAA rules regarding in-game recruiting and compensation, which are in place to support student-athletes,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert, in the press release. “We encourage school compliance personnel to continue their due diligence, and NCAA law enforcement has and will continue to undertake investigations and actions against potential rule violations.”