The NCAA announced on Apr 29 that the Board of Governors has supported recommendations that would permit student-athletes to receive income for third-party endorsements, social media opportunities and other business ventures.
These changes aim to go into effect at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.
NCAA Board Chairman and President of Ohio State University Michael Drake said, “Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements are uncharted territories.”
The board said student-athletes have consented to identify themselves by the school they attend and the sport they play. However, they would not be able to use a conference or school logos or trademarks.
According to the NCAA’s website, the guidelines for image use include autographs, personal appearances, merchandise, social media endorsements and representation in video games.
Val Ackerman, the commissioner of the Big East Conference and co-chair of the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, spoke on how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect college athletes.
Ackerman said, “We hope that modernized name, image and likeness rules will further assist college athletes during these unprecedented times and beyond.”
While pay-to-play in the NCAA has long been a hot topic, colleges and universities still cannot pay student-athletes. The new rules state that any compensation a student-athlete receives must be from a third party.
Currently, the NCAA governs over 450,000 athletes at more than 1,200 schools nationwide. The move follows California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed a bill that cleared the way for college players to be paid from endorsement deals beginning in 2023.
The recommendations also came nearly two weeks after top high school prospect, Jalen Green, chose to enter the NBA G League pathway program over playing for a university.
The G League route allows players to make a reported $500,000 a year, while the NCAA currently does not allow athletes to receive any compensation.
Although it was never directly addressed, there has already been speculation about the effects of these changes. However, as Ackerman told reporters, it would be “unworkable in college sports” due to a lack of unionization by the players.
If the recommendations are approved, top student-athletes will soon have an opportunity to earn significant compensation while playing at a college or university before turning professional.