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DIII Presidents Council considers student-athlete compensation for promotions and endorsements

Next step is to gather membership feedback, with a goal of voting at the 2021 NCAA Convention

Division III student-athletes would be able to be compensated for tutoring, private lessons, book publishing, modeling or autographs, according to two concepts discussed by the Presidents Council at its meeting this week.

The Presidents Council, the highest governing body in Division III, reviewed two concepts around name, image and likeness that have received support from the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Interpretations and Legislation Committee, and the Management Council.

 “Allowing student-athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness is extremely important,” said Tori Murden McClure, Presidents Council chair and president at Spalding. “These changes will allow student-athletes to benefit from opportunities that other students enjoy when they employ their discipline, determination and hard work.”

The two concepts would allow student-athletes to use their status as an athlete and be compensated for it in these situations:

  • The promotion of academic and other endeavors involving their business activities or other opportunities.
  • Participation in promotions and other endorsements.

These concepts, for example, would allow student-athletes to get paid for giving private lessons, media activities, creative endeavors, research, class projects, a personal business or tutoring. Student-athletes also could be paid for being a brand ambassador, being in a commercial, making an appearance, signing an autograph or modeling.

These concepts have been developed with the understanding that they can take place consistent with the collegiate model. For example, payment would be appropriate for the activity. Institutions could not be involved in securing the promotion for a student-athlete, and these opportunities could not be part of the recruiting process.

The council noted concerns that have come up during the name, image and likeness discussion, which has been in the works for several months and involved feedback from the Division III membership, as well as governance committee-level work. Educating student-athletes on name, image and likeness will be important, the council said, as well as possibly prohibiting inappropriate endorsements such as sports wagering and alcohol. ​The division also must ensure the monitoring and reporting process doesn’t place too large of a burden on institutions.

Earlier this week, the Board of Governors, the NCAA’s highest governing body, supported rule changes that would allow student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics. Now, each division will work to craft legislation specific to their membership.

The Division III concepts will be distributed to the membership in May to gather additional feedback before the Management Council’s July meeting and the Presidents Council’s early August meeting. The goal is to have new name, image and likeness legislation adopted at the 2021 NCAA Convention and then implemented before the 2021-22 academic year.