Citing “External Factors,” NCAA Delays Votes on NIL Modernization

While the NCAA announced in April that it intends to “modernize” rules regarding athletes being allowed to earn money off of their names, images, and likeness, the Division I Council announced today that it would delay a vote that was supposed to be held this week regarding the new rules.

According to the press release, the Division I Council remains committed to adopting new rules, but that “several external factors, including recent correspondence with the U.S. Department of Justice, prompted members to delay voting on the proposals.”

The NCAA Board of Governors had initially instructed each division to adopt new rules by January 2021, but this week NCAA President Mark Emmert recommended to each division that it delay the vote.

The Board of Governors directed each division to change name, image and likeness rules by January 2021, but judicial, political and enforcement issues and a subsequent recommendation from NCAA President Mark Emmert influenced today’s decision

The releases did not specify exactly what concerns the Justice Department had with regard to the new rules. Division II and III were also set to vote on new rules this week, and those votes also are expected to be delayed. The NAIA, meanwhile, already voted last October allowing student-athletes to receive compensation “for promoting any commercial product, enterprise, or for any public or media appearance,” even if if they do reference their participation in intercollegiate athletics.

The proposed new NCAA rules are expected to make it easier for college athletes to earn money from things like social media and appearances, and student-athletes will be allowed to use their school’s name and sport in such endeavors, but not school or conference logos.

Name-image-likeness, or NIL, has been a hot topic for sometime now, and the issue was pushed to the forefront in the fall of 2019, when California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, the effect of which threatened to force California schools to operate under a different set of NIL rules unless the NCAA as a whole made changes.

Other NCAA Updates

  • Emmert called 2021 a “seminal year for college sports” in his annual State of College Sports address. The NCAA President acknowledged the difficulties of the last year, but also said that college sports learned some lessons, including that “when we cooperate, remarkable things can happen.” Pointing towards needed progress in NIL rules, diversity in “coaching and administrative positions,” increased accountability and steps to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved with college sports, Emmert said, We want to get back to college sports in full form in 2021 in a better way than before — not just returning to what we were, but being better than we were before 2020″
  • Meeting virtually Tuesday as part of the 2021 NCAA Convention, the Division I Presidential Forum set goals and a timeline for its work as it looks as there future sustainability of NCAA Division I sports. The review will look at topics ranging from governance to finances to membership requirements, and the Forum has interacted with the Knight Commission, a group that recently recommended separating the Football Bowl Subdivision from the NCAA for purposes of football only. The future sustainability of DI sports has been a hot topic in swimming lately, as we’ve seen several Division I programs cut over the last few years, while the sport grows at the Division III, NAIA, and junior college levels.

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2 years ago

This is ridiculous! How about at least allowing kids to accept scholarships using their athletic and academic achievements? Right now a form needs to be filed in order to “clear” any academic funds to “prove” they weren’t given inappropriately. REALLY? They work 20+ hours/week in their sports and cannot use this to demonstrate dedication and leadership? This delays finances, frustrates everyone and further handcuffs student athletes. I am not impressed with the NCAA. Sad! (Thanks for allowing me to vent)

Reply to  SwimMom
2 years ago

To me, an easy first step is to allow them to take endorsements up to the cost of attendance.

But…this is really not about swimmers, runners, fencers, rowers – this is about football, basketball, and volleyball, primarily, and those are all full-ride sports.

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