The governing body over college sports, the NCAA, is feeling the squeeze when it comes to players’ benefits.
Green is the number one overall prospect and the most damning to the reputation of college basketball, so everyone expected a countermove from the NCAA.
On Wednesday, that counter move came in the form of a proposal to allow college athletes to sign endorsement contracts and receive payment for other work they do, even if that work is related to the sport they play. The only caveat is that the school can not be tied to those payments in any way, shape, or form.
This proposal came from a board that was established to modernize the archaic system that prevents athletes from being able to sign autographs for compensation. The recommendations loosen restrictions while also leaving room for both the NCAA and schools to regulate the types of deals athletes are allowed to sign. It’s not total liberation, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory,” board chairperson Michael Drake said in a press release Wednesday morning.
For example, a student-athlete would not have been able to appear in a local car dealership commercial while mentioning they play basketball for the local university. That would have been considered an endorsement. With the proposed rule changes, that would be a legal action, they could mention the school they attend and the sport they play, however, they will not be able to use any logos or branding.
Because of the complex nature of antitrust laws and politics that is seemingly always involved with money, the NCAA and President Mark Emmert have tapped the help of congress to establish bylaws around college athletes receiving some sort of compensation for what they do.
The NCAA thinks a federal mandate is absolutely necessary to operate a nationwide organization, as having states operate under different rules would be very difficult to maneuver. But the main focus of congress remains related to things mostly dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. So, for the time being, Congress’ help will be limited.
In October, California seemed to set all of these plays in motion when they voted to pass a bill that says athletes in the state of California can profit off of their likeness and image. This was a move that forced the NCAA’s hand to do the same, or schools in the state of California would have had an inherent advantage over other states.
Chip LaMarca, a State Representative in Florida, said he appreciates the NCAA’s proposal, but remember, it’s just a proposal. He is skeptical about them following through. Chip started a legislative movement that turned into a bill and is currently on the desk of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. This law is very similar to that of the one in California.
The only difference is the bill written for Florida would be effective in 2021. So if Congress doesn’t step in to supersede that bill, it could create a legal mess next summer if that bill is passed.