School Gamers Could Make Cash Off Their Fame, Highly effective N.C.A.A. Panel Recommends

Leader of the NCAA, the most influential umbrella organization in university sports, existed for months that they are keen to move forward with new guidelines to provide players with greater economic opportunities. And while many athletics leaders pushed the 115-year-old federation to relax its long-standing restrictions, the college sports industry now acts largely because it had little choice.

In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas, laws or executive orders will go into effect Thursday that will allow college athletes to make money using their names, pictures, and likeness. More than a dozen other states have adopted similar measures with later entry into force. But Congress got in a setback to the NCAA no agreement reached to override state laws and write a standard in federal law.

While many administrators still hope that the federal government will act at some point, the plethora of state laws – often denounced as “patchwork” by athletics officials – threatened to create an immediate imbalance in college sports. Schools in states with legal guarantees that students could potentially make money, the argument goes, would be better positioned to recruit potential players and would draw the greatest future talent to a handful of schools. The NCAA’s decision to intervene, executives hope, will avert the worst possible inequalities, at least for a short time.

Still, the road to Monday’s recommendation was speckled with internal fighting, caution, threats and last-minute maneuvers. No recent development has been more momentous than the Supreme Court ruling last week, which undermined the NCAA’s approach to antitrust law and urged the industry to give athletes more rights than top executives once expected.

The NCAA v Alston case was closely focused on educational benefits such as academic awards and paid internships, but the court’s unanimous ruling removed some of the legal precedents that the association and its members had relied on for decades for protection. The decision unnerved college sports officials, many of whom were already drained by seemingly endless legal battles, and heightened concerns that a string of tough NCAA name, image, and likeness rules would create more legal challenges and perhaps even more pronounced defeats .

Massachusetts senator desires to let student-athletes earn cash from third-party endorsements as NCAA pushes off determination

While March Madness brings in more than $ 1.1 billion in revenue for top universities and college sports regulators, Senator Barry Finegold says it’s time to give athletes a piece of the pie.

“Who are the real winners?” Finegold, a Democrat from Andover, asks about the lucrative business of college sports.

In 2019, college sports programming raised $ 18.9 billion through ticket sales, television deals, clothing stores, and merchandise sales, according to the NCAA. Some of the money goes to schools, where it covers the salaries of six-figure coaches and state-of-the-art stadiums, but none of that goes into players’ pockets as per NCAA rules.

It’s a funding formula that Finegold – once an amateur soccer player himself – says it’s time to change. This is the second term that Finegold has tabled its bill to legalize endorsements for physical education students in Massachusetts. However, he says this is more relevant today than ever.

“There’s a lot of talk about justice and fairness right now – most of these athletes have lower socio-economic status,” Finegold told the Herald in a recent interview. “In D1, high-priced recruits make all this money for these schools and what is the ultimate benefit? So many drop out of school early, not getting the full benefit from college and hoping for professional careers, but that can be a tough road to hacking. ”

Finegold’s bill would allow student-athletes to receive compensation for using their name, image, or likeness without affecting the student’s eligibility – something that is currently not allowed under NCAA rules. College players could also participate in professional sport drafting without compromising their college status and gaming ability, and would allow them to keep scholarships. It also allows student-athletes to hire agents and would set up a “Catastrophic Sports Injury Fund” to compensate student-athletes who suffer retirement injuries.

The latest NCAA data shows that the graduation rate among athletes has slowly increased over the past two decades. Around 90% of athletes who started college in 2013 have graduated. However, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, there is still a significant racial gap in graduation rates for black athletes, with graduation of about 73% last year.

Public support to provide student-athletes with name, image, and likeness opportunities has increased in recent years. The NCAA itself has now committed to changing the rules as a patchwork of state laws emerges. Finegold’s bill is modeled on California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which was passed by lawmakers in 2019. Florida passed a similar bill last year.

“The NCAA is best positioned to offer a consistent and fair approach to name, image and likeness to all athletes at the national level,” the organization said in a statement. A vote in January to pass a new set of rules that extends the rules for names, image and likeness to athletes was postponed indefinitely.

The NCAA Board of Governors backed rule changes last April to allow athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements. The then chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors, Michale V. Drake, described the issue of endorsement for sports students as “uncharted territory” at the time.

NCAA weight room discrepancy displays continual gender inequality

The NCAA has a chronic problem with undervalued women, writer and presenter Jemele Hill said Friday – and the recent controversy over weight room discrepancies highlights that inequality.

“This has long been a consistent issue when it comes to the lack of equity between men’s and women’s sports,” Hill said. “This should let everyone know who is seeing and hearing this story that it was about the fact that they didn’t think they were worth it to begin with.”

A Stanford University athletic performance coach posted photos on Twitter Thursday exposing inequalities between the weight rooms of women and men.

Photos of Ali Kershner, a coach for the Stanford women’s basketball and golf teams, showed the women’s weight room in the NCAA bubble in San Antonio – a dumbbell rack and some yoga mats. The men’s weight room in their NCAA bubble in Indianapolis. was decked out with equipment worth a gym.

On a Friday morning call to Zoom, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt promised to do better.

“I apologize to the students, coaches and the women’s committee for dropping the ball on the San Antonio weight room issue. We’ll fix it as soon as possible,” said Gavitt.

NCAA vice president for women’s basketball Lynn Holzman said later Friday the organization is looking at ways to adjust square footage and provide more exercise opportunities.

Hill told CNBCs “The News with Shepard Smith” the rapid response on Friday was significant.

“When they were caught and this video went viral, they suddenly had a change of heart within 24 hours,” said Hill, who hosts the Spotify podcast. “Jemele Hill is undisturbed.” “The money was always there. The money isn’t the problem. The problem is they don’t believe these women are worth it.”

ESPN signed a 14-year $ 500 million contract with the NCAA in the 2023/24 academic year to expand rights to 24 college championships, including continued coverage of the Women’s Division I basketball tournament.

Hill told host Shepard Smith that going forward, the NCAA “must do everything it can to show that they take women’s sport seriously because it looks worse as the background to this is that it is the month of women’s history.”

NCAA officials were not immediately available Friday to respond to Hill’s comments.