The Division I Board of Directors on Wednesday reviewed name, image and likeness concepts sent to the division’s members for feedback and provided insight as the governing body that oversees the strategic direction of Division I.
Board members also asked the Division I Council to review the future of fall championships in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Board of Governors requirements and recommendations.
Earlier in the day, a survey about potential name, image and likeness rule changes was sent to the Division I membership for their review and response.
“I believe these concepts reflect the evolution of the Division I membership. It is important for institutions of higher learning to support the whole student — academically, athletically, and in pursuits outside the classroom and fields of play,” said board chair Eli Capilouto, president at Kentucky. “We also understand we can’t do this alone. We need assistance from the federal government to make sure modifications provide a uniform national standard and appropriately tailored protections.”
Board members noted the continued interest of Congress in expanded name, image and likeness opportunities for student-athletes as a necessary part of allowing the NCAA to push forward to propose changes that can be enacted in 2021.
The membership this week received a survey that asks for feedback on changes proposed by the Division I Name, Image and Likeness Legislative Solutions Group. Changes being considered include:
- Allowing student-athletes to use their name, image and likeness to promote camps and clinics, private lessons, their own products and services, and commercial products or services.
- Allowing student-athletes to be paid for their autographs and personal appearances.
- Ensuring that payments for name, image and likeness rights are not a disguised form of pay for play, particularly when made by boosters or others with connections to the institution.
Members also are asked to comment on an administrative framework built by the Legislative Solutions Group that addresses several issues the membership must consider when changing the name, image and likeness rules:
- How to address potential areas of conflict between a student-athlete’s activity and the values of the school, conference and NCAA.
- Disclosure of name, image and likeness activities for the benefit of other student-athletes and to facilitate compliance.
- Allowing student-athletes to use professional services for advice and representation in contract negotiations for name, image and likeness activities and marketing, within specific parameters.
- Setting a framework for involvement of the school in a student-athlete’s name, image and likeness activities without permitting the school to pay, arrange or facilitate name, image and likeness compensation.
- Setting a framework to prevent boosters and third parties from using name, image and likeness compensation and offers in the recruitment process to influence a prospective student-athlete’s decision.
- Whether rules for prospective student-athletes should be consistent with those proposed for enrolled student-athletes.
- Exploring the use of a third party to assist schools, conferences and the NCAA with disclosure, oversight and education of student-athletes.
Board members noted the flexibility proposed by the working group was consistent with a number of changes Division I and the five autonomy conferences have made in the past several years to support student-athletes, including guaranteed scholarships, cost of attendance, required medical insurance past graduation, concussion safety protocol and more required time away from sports.
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The proposed changes also are consistent with the guiding principles set by the NCAA Board of Governors, including ensuring student-athletes are treated similarly to nonathlete students, unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate while maintaining the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
“Membership feedback is crucial to ensure we create the best framework to benefit student-athletes,” Capilouto said. “We hope to hear from a broad cross-section of Division I in this critical stage.”
Division I members must provide feedback by Aug. 28. The Legislative Solutions Group will finalize recommended legislative changes through the fall. The Division I Council will introduce legislation into the 2020-21 legislative cycle by Nov. 1, with a vote anticipated at the 2021 NCAA Convention in January.
The Division I Board of Directors directed the Division I Council to provide recommendations for the future of Fall 2020 championships in Division I. The Council meets next week and will discuss the requirements set forth by the NCAA Board of Governors.
All Council recommendations will be acted on by the board.
“The Council is fully prepared either through the full Council or the Council Coordination Committee to provide recommendations regarding any emergency legislation to ensure we keep our student-athletes whole,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We will continue to collaborate with medical experts and engage with the Football Oversight Committee, Competition Oversight Committee and national office championships staff.”
The first deadline for a number of rule changes to protect student-athlete well-being is Aug 14. The deadline for determining whether to move forward with Division I championships is Aug. 21, recognizing that changing data trend lines and other factors could require a different decision at a later date.
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