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Board reaffirms commitment to updating name, image and likeness rules

Campus sexual violence and gender equity review among other topics addressed

With a number of state laws ready to take effect soon, the Association’s top governing body Tuesday reinforced its commitment to modernizing NCAA rules around name, image and likeness this summer.

“The NCAA and its members remain committed to providing a path for student-athletes to benefit from name, image and likeness opportunities,” the NCAA Board of Governors said in a statement following its quarterly meeting. “As we have previously noted, we recognize the importance of taking swift, appropriate action to modernize our rules. We also must collaborate with Congress to create a legal and legislative framework at the federal level to support name, image and likeness within the context of higher education. With several state laws taking effect this summer, we will continue efforts to adopt expanded name, image and likeness opportunities as soon as advisable.”

Citing judicial, political and governmental enforcement events, the board in January supported the postponement of anticipated votes on name, image and likeness proposals in all three divisions, while reaffirming its commitment to modernizing the rules at the first viable opportunity.

Campus sexual violence policy

The board also accepted the recommendations of the Campus Sexual Violence Policy Implementation Task Force, which included policy edits to clarify language in the expanded campus sexual violence policy. The task force created recommended resources, including a checklist and timeline designed to assist the membership in implementing the added policy requirements. The board directed staff to distribute the checklist and timeline while also continuing the development of additional policy resources, including FAQs and educational programming on sexual violence prevention.

The sexual violence policy was first passed in 2017 and requires member schools to educate all student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff members annually about sexual violence prevention. According to the expanded policy passed in April 2020, all incoming, current and transfer college athletes must disclose annually to their school whether their conduct has resulted in discipline through a Title IX proceeding or in a criminal conviction for sexual, interpersonal or other acts of violence. A failure by the student-athlete to make a full and accurate disclosure could result in penalties, including a loss of athletics eligibility as determined by the school.

The NCAA will distribute the approved checklist and timeline, along with other campus resources, to member schools by June. Campuses must annually attest to the policy and must first attest to the expanded policy provisions in the 2022-23 academic year.   

Kaplan Hecker & Fink

The board received an update from Kaplan Hecker & Fink reflecting its information gathering to date and plans for continued work with the external review of gender equity issues in connection with the NCAA, focusing on championships. The board reaffirmed its expectation created at the outset of the review that Kaplan’s conclusions and recommendations when complete will be transparent to the membership and public.

Other business

Additionally, the board voted unanimously to extend NCAA President Mark Emmert’s contract to Dec. 31, 2025.

Future meeting schedule

The board approved a future governance meeting schedule that will be implemented once COVID-19 precautions are reduced. The new structure will reduce the number of in-person meetings, instead relying on virtual meetings with the goal of continued cost-saving measures.

Independent Accountability Review Process

The board heard a general update on the Independent Accountability Review Process, which has continued to see growth with five infractions cases progressing through the independent process and a sixth case recently added. Decisions in all six cases are expected within the next 12 months. The chief panel members will continue discussions with membership regarding the commitment to timeliness, fairness and consistency in the processing of cases.

New vice chair named

Allison Garrett, Emporia State president, was named vice chair of the board, effective July 1. Garrett will replace Sandra Jordan, who is retiring as chancellor of the University of South Carolina Aiken.