Two weeks ago, the NCAA’s board of governors unanimously voted to permit student-athletes to profit off from their name, image and likeness.
The board told the three separate college divisions Oct. 29 to begin figuring out ways to update their rules specifically in a way so it doesn’t look like the athletes are being paid professionally. The NCAA hopes to see this goal come to fruition no later than January 2021.
“They were very clear that this was not going to be ‘Pay for Play.’ They were very clear that they weren’t going to develop a model that would essentially make student athletes employees where they would get paid. What they [NCAA] did say was to allow student athletes to take advantage of the opportunities or take control of their name, image, and likeness,” said Valpo athletic director Mark LaBarbera.
Another point the NCAA addressed at its press release on Oct. 29 was the critical point that student-athletes should be treated the same as non-athlete students in terms of profiting off their name, image, and likeness.
“A great example of this is that you can have a YouTube channel right now and make a lot of money with your YouTube channel. What a student athlete can’t do right now is that, they can’t do that,” said LaBarbera. “So with the NCAA, with how the rules have been in the past, if a student athlete started a YouTube channel and found a way to monetize that through advertising and subscriptions, they weren’t allowed to do that. The NCAA would say that ‘you’re profiting’ since people would recognize you as a student athlete.”
Before the NCAA made its vote, the California’s Governor Gavin Newsom took action in his own hands. He approved the “Fair Pay to Play Act” on Sept. 30, which allows college athletes to be compensated for endorsements. The law is set to be slated in 2023.
“What all of this is about is letting student athletes take these sorts of opportunities, or having the opportunity for them to license their image to other people or to other companies. So it’s not about paying them or giving them a stipend, it’s about the process for them to grow and profit from their name, image and likeness,” LaBarbera said.
Many states began to follow California. For example, Illinois, New York and Florida have all introduced bills that would allow endorsements for the college athletes in their respective states.
However, some politicians on the federal level have also begun to introduce legislation which allows student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
“It is a very complicated issue. There are issues of fairness, there are issues of just being relevant to society in the time we are in now. There are a lot of different pieces to that, and all of this has to be sorted out,” LaBarbera said.
On Thursday morning, the NCAA posted a page on their website that listed its standards for the student athlete, as well as goals for the future and a timeline of when rules will be changed and be put in place. A question and answer section has also been listed on the website page. For more information, check out the NCAA website at http://www.ncaa.org/about/taking-action.