NCAA - Michael Drake

NCAA to Permit Athletes to Benefit From Their Name, Likeness, and Image

2 min

It seems that the NCAA is embracing a new direction when their policy-making group unanimously voted on Tuesday, to allow student-athletes the ability to benefit financially from the use of their name, likeness, and image.

A group was put together back in May to tackle the name, likeness, and image issue that has been at the center of much debate in the past. The NCAA has traditionally been very firm on its stance to not allow compensation to student-athletes in order to preserve their “amateur” image.

Chairman of the Board of Governors and president of Ohio State University, Michael Drake said the following in a statement:

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes, additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”

Michael Drake

A working group will continue to work out the details of the new policy in the coming months as they would explore ways to ensure that the student-athletes get part of the income from the sale of their name, image and likeness.

A stipulation of these policies is that profit made by athletes have to coinside with principles and guidelines that include: 

  • Assuring student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
  • Maintaining the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success. 
  • Ensuring rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
  • Making clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities. 
  • Making clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
  • Reaffirming that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.

Others such as Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., are proposing a tax on scholarship money received, stating that “endorsement money should be treated, and taxed, like income.”

He went on to say…“If college athletes are going to make money off of their likeness while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income,” Burr stated over Twitter that he has plans to introduce legislation that taxes scholarship money for college athletes who choose to, as he puts it, “cash in.”

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