NCAA Recommends NIL Policy That Would Suspend Amateurism Rules

Jun 28, 2021, 2:36 PM | Updated: 2:42 pm
BYU Cougars - Utah Utes...
(Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

SALT LAKE CITY – The foundation of amateurism in the NCAA experienced a seismic shift again on Monday when the NCAA’s Division I Council recommended an interim policy related to name, image and likeness.

It’s a recommendation that would suspend amateurism rules related to NIL.

Both the Division I Council and Division I Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday to formally review the recommendation. That meeting will take place less than 24 hours before six different states enact Name, Image and Likeness laws on July 1.

Those six states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Other states such as California, Nebraska, Oregon all have NIL bills with different effective dates. This temporary NIL policy recommended by the NCAA will give all student-athletes in the country the chance to profit off their NIL, regardless of state legislation.

Key points to NCAA’s temporary NIL policy

In the NCAA’s press release on Monday, they stated “the following guidance to member schools, student-athletes and their families.”

  • College athletes can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.
  • Student-athletes who attend a school in a state without a NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • College athletes can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

This isn’t pay-for-play

Name, image and likeness will give student-athletes in the NCAA the chance to profit off their publicity. This will not be a situation where schools are paying the athletes directly.

“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. Those prohibitions would remain in effect.”

Impact on BYU, Utah, local schools

Both BYU and the University of Utah have rolled out name, image and likeness programs to give their student-athletes the chance to make money in this new NIL era. BYU’s program, Built4Life is partnered with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Slopes. Utah’s Elevate U program is partnered with Utah’s David Eccles School of Business and Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

If the recommendations are approved on Wednesday, July 1st will signal a historic new era in college athletes both locally and nationally.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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