The NCAA has taken another step toward allowing student-athletes to be paid for usage of their name, image and likeness (NIL).
The Board of Governors approved proposed rules changes that allows for compensation for third-party endorsements, “both related to and separate from athletics.”
The group, which includes school presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes and league commissioners, has refined its recommendations since voting unanimously last October to allow for NIL usage.
Additionally, the Board of Governors has approved student-athletes can be compensated for businesses they have started, personal appearances and social media.
There remain several specifics that need to be worked out. But movement on the NIL issue is clearly gaining momentum.
Georgia football players would seem to be in a position to benefit if the Bulldogs football Twitter account — @Georgiafootball — is an indicator.
The Georgia account has more than 974,000 Twitter followers, evidence of the program’s digital presence.
Former UGA quarterback Jake Fromm has more than 200,000 followers, himself.
The use of school or conference logos, however, would not be allowed for student-athletes in their NIL dealings.
Schools are strictly prohibited from paying student-athletes for use of their name, image and/or likeness.
Former Georgia tailback Brian Herrien, recently signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns, said last fall the legislation is obviously popular with the players.
“I’m pretty sure the players behind me would appreciate that a lot, players ahead of me as well,” Herrien said.
“People like to say all the people come to the stadium to watch the players. They’ve got the players jersey on, even though it’s not his name on the back, but we know.”
The new legislation is expected to be in place by next January, and take effect in the fall semester of 2021.
“The NCAA’s work to modernize name, image and likeness continues, and we plan to make these important changes on the original timeline, no later than January 2021,” Gene Smith, Ohio State senior vice president and athletics director and working group co-chair, said in the NCAA release.
“The board’s decision today (April 28) provides further guidance to each division as they create and adopt appropriate rules changes.”
The NCAA plans to “engage congress” in an effort to establish federal authority and thus uniform legislation that would ensure a level playing field from one state to another.
Aug. 31, 2020: Each of the three NCAA division levels will introduce legislative proposals to allow NIL activities approved now by waivers or rules interpretations and related to businesses or opportunities not tied to athletics.
Oct. 31, 2020: Each of the three NCAA division levels should have final legislation drafted to update NIL rules.
Jan. 31, 2021: Legislation should be approved with NIL stipulations in place by the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
Greg Sankey weighs in
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey expressed his priority to ensure agents and boosters don’t run afoul with student-athletes in NIL dealings, per Sports Illustrated reporter Ross Dellenger.
“Among the complex issues that must be addressed is the role “advisors” will have in guiding student-athletes and the process for certifying and regulating these advisors,” Sankey said in a Dellenger Tweet.
“We must also develop a system to effectively monitor endorsement agreements to insure compliance with policies and rules that will be established.”
Sankey said it will also be important to have a “mechanism” in place that would “deter boosters from directly or indirectly paying student-athletes as a means to influence the recruiting process.”
Sankey also underscored the importance of a federal law that “establishes one set of national rules that will govern all athletics programs and student-athletes across all 50 states.”