NCAA Proposes Allowing Athletes to Use NIL to Profit from Autographs, More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2020

FILE - In this April 25, 2018, file photo, the NCAA headquarters is shown in Indianapolis. More than a dozen national associations in various sports – hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, swimming and gymnastics, among them – have signed a memo outlining “significant concerns” about effects of allowing athletes to profit for use of their names, images and likenesses (NIL). (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

In a draft to the Division I Council, the NCAA outlined its prospective rules on name, image and likeness compensation for athletes.

According to Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger, athletes could endorse products while refraining from using branding from their schools or identifying the institutions they attend. They would also be allowed to charge for autographs and receive money for their services during private lessons or football camps.

There would be limits, however.

Sports betting companies would be off the table, and the same goes for substances banned by the NCAA. Universities could also prohibit athletes from profiting from companies that conflict with sponsorship agreements or "values" held by the school.

This would represent a significant change to the status quo, but it was inevitable.

The momentum toward NIL reform has been steadily growing, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom sped the process along when he signed the Fair Pay to Play Act last September. The law, which takes effect in January 2023, allows for college athletes at California schools to profit from endorsements.

A number of states followed California's lead and brought NIL legislation to the table. Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, one of whom is former Ohio State star Anthony Gonzalez, introduced their own legislation as well.

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Forde and Dellenger called the NCAA's draft "a somewhat living document," so it could change before a vote in January. They added that any moves by Congress would supersede the NCAA's actions.