The NCAA Division I Council on Monday voted to recommended that the Division I board of directors adopt an interim name, image and likeness policy for student athletes when the board convenes on Wednesday. The vote comes after name, image and likeness (NIL) laws, which will allow student-athletes to monetize themselves, are set to go into effect on Thursday in seven states.
Currently, student-athletes are banned by the NCAA from making money off of activities and events like autograph signings, endorsements and personal appearances. The new laws and the recommended interim policy would remove those restrictions.
The council recommended that the board allow student-athletes to “engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state” where their school is located. In an effort to not give schools in states with NIL laws a clear recruiting advantage, the recommended guidance also allows for student-athletes who attend schools in states without NIL laws to “engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.”
The recommended policy would also allow for athletes to “use a professional services provider for NIL activities.”
“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,” the council said in its recommendation. “Those prohibitions would remain in effect.”
The council said the interim policy, if adopted Wednesday, would last until either federal legislation regarding NIL policies is passed or the NCAA adopts new rules on its own.
On Thursday, NIL laws will go into effect in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. An additional 12 states have passed NIL legislation, but the law will not yet go into effect, CBS Sports reports. Oregon’s state legislature has also passed an NIL bill, and is awaiting signature from the governor.
The recommendation comes one week after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the NCAA in a separate case, saying it cannot limit education-related benefits for student-athletes. The court’s ruling did not directly impact NIL legislation, but did raise concerns about antitrust policy. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his opinion that “NCAA’s business model of using unpaid student athletes to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the colleges raises serious questions under the antitrust laws.”
“The NCAA couches its arguments for not paying student athletes in innocuous labels. But the labels cannot disguise the reality: The NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America,” he added.
In anticipation of new NIL laws going into effect this week, Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz on Monday unveiled a new personal logo on social media. Iowa Hawkeyes basketball player Jordan Bohannon last week announced a line of branded apparel that will be released the day the NIL laws go into effect.
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