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NCAA to Review NIL Policies, Potential Recruiting Violations

After one season of college athletes being allowed to profit off their name, image, and likeness, the NCAA announced Friday afternoon that it will begin a review of NIL policies.

The Division I Board of Directors met virtually Friday and agreed to task the Division I Council with a review of how NIL policies, or lack thereof, have affected athletes’ school choice, transfer opportunities, academics, and their mental health.

“We want to preserve the positive aspects of the new policy while reviewing whether anything can be done to mitigate the negative ones,” said board chair and University of Georgia President Jere Morehead.

In a news release, the board cited concerns about potential violation of NCAA recruiting rules, the representation for athletes as they broker these deals, booster involvement, as well schools being involved in potentially arranging deals for incoming players.

“We look forward to conducting this review and hope to be able to provide the membership with additional clarity,” said West Virginia athletic director and council chair Shane Lyons. “Any recommendations we provide will help members as they support their student-athletes moving forward.”

According to the board, the NCAA’s national office enforcement staff have continued to investigate violations of NCAA rules, including pay-for-play and recruiting inducements.

In June of last year, the Supreme Court ruled in NCAA v. Alston et al. that the NCAA was violating antitrust laws by restricting athlete compensation. That ruling prompted the NCAA to vote to allow and institute NIL policies.

The decision brought about a slew of sponsorship deals and opportunities for athletes beyond football and basketball, but the lack of structure within those two sports, especially football, has resulted in different avenues for compensating players such as financial collectives by school alumni. The lack of oversight from the NCAA also meant that different states had different rules for NIL legislation.

“We expect that all members and their representatives are abiding by current NCAA rules regarding recruiting and pay-for-play, which are in place to support student-athletes,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said. “We encourage school compliance staff to continue their diligence, and NCAA enforcement has and will continue to undertake investigations and actions against potential rules violations.”

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