NCAA Board of Governors makes strides toward player compensation

Marcus Krum

The NCAA is one step closer to allowing student-athletes compensation for their own likenesses.

In Tuesday’s Board of Governors meeting, the Board supported changes to NCAA rules that would allow for student-athletes to be compensated for “third-party endorsements,” meaning players could accept endorsement offers from businesses and people “both related to and separate from athletics.” Additionally, it would allow for student-athletes to seek compensation opportunities through social media, personal businesses and other methods.

All three NCAA divisions were directed to consider rule changes accordingly, where each division will use its own rule-making structure to adopt new name, image and likeness rules to take effect, starting in the 2021-2022 academic year.

“Throughout our efforts to enhance support for college athletes, the NCAA has relied upon considerable feedback from and the engagement of our members, including numerous student-athletes, from all three divisions,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State, in a statement from the NCAA today. “Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory.”

The new regulations’ provisions state that while student-athletes could identify themselves by sport and school, “the use of conference and school logos, trademarks or other involvement would not be allowed.” Additionally, student-athletes would have to refrain from compensation that would be considered pay for play; schools, conferences and boosters may not be involved.

While these regulations would be enacted after Ehlinger’s final season, Texas junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger has been outspoken in the past in support of new name, image and likeness rules. 

"I still believe that the players should benefit off their likeness and things of that nature,” Ehlinger said in a press conference early last season. "There's so much attention, so much time and effort and value that young athletes and student-athletes put into their lives dedicating four or five years of their college lives. And the industry (is) so popular that you know every other industry in the world, you get paid for your value. And I believe that should be equal everywhere."

As one of the most prominent brands in collegiate athletics, Texas’ student-athlete population would likely be one of the most affected by these rule changes.