NCAA Should Be Despised For Providing Athletes With Real NIL Rights
As of January 14, the only state that can accurately and confidently state that college athletes will have the ability to market their names, images and likenesses in 2021 is Florida. This is true despite many college track and field programs announcing the creation of programs with unique names such as LEVERAGE and ASCEND.
For some time now, there has been no doubt that college athletes across the country will be able to take advantage of some form of publicity right, even if that meant athletes in certain states (like Florida) could have more extensive rights. and less restrictive. than athletes from other states that have adopted legislation on the subject that will come into force after 2021 or otherwise. It was believed that the NCAA would finally speak up and vote on law Project with effect from August 1, 2021.
The vote was supposed to be arranged by the NCAA Division I board at its January meeting. Instead of voting, the Council announcement that it indefinitely delay any movement on the important issue of athlete rights. The NCAA rightly receives a fair share of criticism for wiping out the vote at the last minute, with no indication as to whether or when a vote on the issue will be postponed, from members of Congress, advocates. athletes and others.
“Delaying the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) vote is another signal the NCAA is hoping the federal government will save it from having to fairly compensate its athletes,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D -CT). “It’s not going to happen. The college sports industry has a fundamental civil rights issue at the heart of its business model, and it’s clear the NCAA doesn’t want to do anything serious to address the inequalities players face. I am working on legislation to address this issue by giving athletes the opportunity to make money out of their likeness and collectively bargain for further reforms to the system, and I hope that will evolve in this new Congress.
The NCAA practically begged Congress to step in and create the law and regulations surrounding college athlete publicity rights. He had hoped Congress would include an antitrust exemption for the NCAA, but it seems such a wish is unlikely to be granted and, instead, the reluctance of the NCAA could lead Congress to push the boundaries and to offer athletes even more extensive rights. than simply the ability to market their names, images and likenesses. Legislation proposed by US Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) would do just that.
“Fair compensation deferred is fair compensation denied. Once again, the NCAA missed an opportunity to finally do good for college athletes, ”Booker and Blumenthal said in a joint statement. “The NCAA delay reinforces the need for Congress and individual states to move forward with legislative remedies that will provide college athletes with rights that the NCAA continues to overlook. The disappointing NCAA move further fuels our commitment to pass a fort Bill of Rights for University Athletes it will really advance justice and opportunity for varsity athletes.
Ramogi Huma, athlete advocate and executive director of the National College Players Association, also expressed his contempt for the NCAA after promising athletes these rights for over a year, then suddenly decided to postpone an indefinitely vote on the issue.
“NCAA Announces College Athletes Cannot Benefit From
their own name on the same day of college football’s biggest game, the National Championship. It’s a slap in the face for college athletes, ”Huma said. “A lot of these athletes are black and from low-income homes – the NCAA treats them like disposable college property. Dozens of college athletes are used to generate money for NCAA sports in pandemic without NCAA enforcing COVID standards. Is that what they get in return for their sacrifice? “
Finally, Florida State Representative Chip LaMarca, who sponsored the name, image, and likeness legislation that eventually became Florida law, effective July 1, said, “allow college athletes to enter the open market clearly does not fit the NCAA’s business model. If it did, the NCAA would have evolved years ago. College athletes can no longer wait for congressional intervention or NCAA inaction. “
The clock is turning. There are less than six months until the Florida law comes into effect and little time for the NCAA to adjust its legislation, bring the board together for a vote, and implement a system to streamline the process. Meanwhile, Congress also has limited time to consider a number of pending bills on the subject, and has other very concerning issues to contend with in the coming months. It is possible that as of July 1, 2021, only athletes in Florida will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to earn money when they are not actively participating in sporting events.
Darren Heitner is the founder of Heitner Legal. He is the author of How to play the game: what every sports lawyer should know, published by the American Bar Association, and is an assistant professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @DarrenHeitner.