NCAA Buckles to State Pressure on Name, Image & Likeness for Student-Athletes

Agree or disagree, student-athletes are going to be ‘allowed’ to capitalize on their name, image and likeness in the future. The NCAA publicly announced plans on Tuesday to develop formal guidelines so athletes could “profit from their names, images, and likenesses in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

However this works out, it is likely to only benefit a relatively small group of high profile student-athletes such as Zion Williamson (former basketball player – Duke) and current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Also, several of the newly passed state laws allow for agents for student-athletes as well. But, as we have mentioned in a prior article, there are still many details to be sorted out.

The recent announcement allows the NCAA to ‘buy time’ as more state legislators are in the process of drafting their own laws outlining “names, image, likeness” guidelines for student-athletes. The cryptic wording by the NCAA which includes, “consistent with the collegiate model” allows the NCAA wiggle room as they sort out their options. And, as proposed, different NCAA divisions (I, II, III) have been asked by the NCAA to develop guidelines and university presidents must eventually agree.

The University of Denver’s highest-profile programs – hockey, skiing, and lacrosse – may benefit, especially with companies that sell equipment, products, and services into these spaces. However, most athletes and teams will still be counting on scholarships/partial scholarships and cost of attendance stipends as their primary outside source of support during their collegiate years as student-athletes.

One thing is clear, over time, we will learn the difference between the market value of the name on the front of uniforms versus the name on the back.

As one senior athletic administrator advised us, “there is only so much money to go around (from sponsors). The ‘pie’ for companies to pay athletic departments and athletes is finite – there is not a bundle of additional cash that will flow to student-athletes under almost any scenario.”

That being said, just like any other student at DU, student-athletes should be able to monetize their skills in the market place just like any other student in music, business or any other discipline. And the same goes for any unnecessary NCAA restrictions that limit reasonable employment opportunities during their time in school.

We will report on the new rules once the NCAA announces the new guidelines for student-athlete name, image and likeness.

One thought on “NCAA Buckles to State Pressure on Name, Image & Likeness for Student-Athletes”

  1. NCAA proposals aren’t due until 2021. Then NCAA has to finalize and get Presidents’ approval. California’s law becomes effective before that. NCAA is suing or will sue Cal. There’s a long way to go before this becomes reality.

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