NCAA Athletes Step Closer To Sponsorship Money

    • This article originally appeared in the April 27 FOS newsletter.

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The NCAA is moving closer to allowing Division I athletes to earn money from endorsement and sponsorships, which could be put in place as early as next year.

A working group led by Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman and Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith put forth recommendations last week that will be reviewed by the NCAA Board Of Governors today and tomorrow, according to the Associated Press.

NCAA is aiming to pass legislation by next January so it can take effect in 2021. Changes could still be made before January, the AP reported.

Say My Name: If the rules are approved and adopted, it would allow athletes to sign sponsorship and endorsement deals for their own name and likeness with a wide variety of companies and third parties ranging from car dealerships to pizza shops, according to the AP.

The athletes could not use school-branded apparel or material in those personal deals, and they would be required to disclose the financial terms of those deals as well as their relationships to the individual parties involved to their respective athletic departments. They would be allowed to enter in agreements with people deemed to be school boosters, according to the AP.

They would also be allowed to sign autographs for money, sell memorabilia, be paid for personal appearances, and work as an instructor or hold an academy in their sport.

Free and Fair Market: The NCAA would look to create a mechanism to evaluate potential deals to ensure they meet fair market value, as well as spot potential corruption.

However, it would not stand in the way if an athlete signed a deal with a brand that competed with a school sponsor.

For example, if Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence signed a deal with Adidas – the school has a deal with Nike – the NCAA would not block that. Instead, it would leave it to the school to decide if that was allowed.