ATLANTA (CBS46) – As states and the federal government begin to force the issue of paying collegiate athletes, the NCAA announced Tuesday it is taking a new step, “to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” Ohio State President Michael Drake said in part in a statement. “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.”
The NCAA Board of Governors laid out multiple principles and guidelines that must be followed as the program begins. Specifically, the NCAA BOG said modernization should begin with the following principles and guidelines:
- Assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
- Maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
- Ensure rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
- Make clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.
- Make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
- Reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.
- Enhance principles of diversity, inclusion and gender equity.
- Protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.
Still, even with the new program, there are still state laws and possibly federal laws that will have to be addressed by the NCAA when it comes to the paying of players. The state of California has already enacted a law for student athletes and several other states have followed suit. Congress is also looking at possible legislation to address the issue.
For the NCAA, Tuesday is a big first step in changing the policies surrounding the student-athlete for an organization that is known to operate slowly and methodically.