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Don’t pre-order that NCAA Football ‘20 video game just yet

The NCAA hasn’t approved anything related to athlete NIL restrictions


Yesterday brought some news from the NCAA which sparked a lot of responses about athletes getting paid and the return of NCAA Football.

Well not so fast, Syracuse Orange fans. Let me be the buzzkill here by pointing out that this statement was a whole lot of bluster without any substance. The unanimous vote was to begin a process 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.”

Read that last part again. The collegiate model is the way the NCAA likes to differentiate themselves from the other professional sports leagues with billion dollar revenues. Those leagues actually pay the players while the collegiate model provides academic scholarships. So right away we can forget the notion that college athletes are going to be paid to play.

Another part of the NCAA release that stands out to me is this: “Protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.”. Now many take this to mean that this would allow schools to avoid having boosters offer athletes endorsements to go to a specific school or transfer schools or fund a contract buyout to enable them to leave for a better job. Oh sorry that last part only applies to the coaches and administrators who have no such limits on what they can receive.

What yesterday’s announcement means is that no one has a real idea about the next step. The NCAA (or I should say the member schools) are clearly concerned by the SB 206 law in California and the dozens of other states following with similar legislation.

What’s going to happen next is what Alex mentions above. Committees will be formed as the NCAA tries to add control over the idea of athletes earning endorsement money. I’d imagine they will try to funnel everything through the schools’ Compliance offices (hey more administrators will be needed) and put money in trusts tied to academic requirements. It’s going to be a longer process than anyone would like but the NCAA has some not escaped the legislative spotlight so hopefully the pressure will be kept on them to make the changes happen sooner than later.

While a lot of us hope this starts the process for a return of NCAA Football and hopefully a NCAA 2K Hoops game, we’ll need to be patient. The NCAA is going to be dragged kicking and screaming into this type of change. And as is typical, that takes time (see: anything it’s ever changed in the past).