The NCAA’s NIL guidelines are 10 months late


NCAA belatedly attempts to curb NIL spending.

NCAA belatedly attempts to curb NIL spending.
picture: Getty Images

The end is near. You can feel that in the air. Mark Emmert is gone, the board is shrinking, the indiscriminate and pervasive power the organization once held over schools, coaches and athletes is gone. The words “NCAA investigation” no longer inspire fear in the hearts of those at risk. School officials and wealthy donors scoff at the idea of ​​enforcement by the glacier-like government agency. The pieces have become more powerful than the whole, and as the NCAA seeks to retrospectively impose policies and restrictions on NIL laws, they must be litigation prepared to end all litigation.

New rules, same old NCAA

The new regulation states that the “promotion and support of a particular NCAA institution through the provision of NIL opportunities for prospective student-athletes and student-athletes of a particular institution” triggers the “definition of a booster”. Under previous regulations, boosters may not conduct recruitment activities or provide benefits to prospective student-athletes, and the new guidelines specifically state that “a NIL agreement between a prospective student-athlete and a booster/NIL entity may not be guaranteed. ”

The new guidelines also prohibit compensation for signing a letter of intent or transferring to a school and clarify that “NIL agreements must be based on an independent, case-by-case analysis of the value each athlete brings to a NIL agreement brings”. Payment for achievements, wins or joining a team. School officials are prohibited from supporting these student-athlete agreements.

So If you haven’t read it all, here’s the gist:No more fun shops. The kind of deals we all envisioned when NIL was first announced – the sponsors, the hard-earned money through performance on the field or court, the individual stuff – that’s all there is in the future. No more collectives, no more promising $8 million recruits to play for your favorite school, no more setting up a special way for kids from your favorite college to make money, which is effectively a pay-to-play budget. At least that’s what the NCAA says.

What will the NCAA do about it?

Per sports illustrated, The NCAA knows better than to crack down on the kids — instead, they’ll look to punish the schools whose boosters have misbehaved — but the schools may not be so willing to lay down and take it anymore. Boosters and collective CEOs insist they’ve followed state laws and existing policies, and if they have enough money to pay those kids, they certainly have enough to file a lawsuit or two against a weakened NCAA.

The big goal of enforcement here is recruiting violators. Poor Nico Iamaleava thought he was graduating from Tennessee in 2027 with a cool 8 million in his pocket, but that doesn’t look ​​likely anymore. All those kids who were promised money to sign somewhere are about to get a rude wake-up call. the athleteYesterday’s article on the new guidelines shows agents and boosters poking fun at the concept that the NCAA is actually doing something about it — an agent threatened an antitrust lawsuit if a client’s business was the subject of NCAA interference, and another said it was “Admirable that the NCAA is acting like it’s taking action against anything.” Ouch.

This will be the fight of a lifetime for a currently headless and often spineless organization. While they will reportedly only pursue “particularly egregious” examples of bylaw violations, the definition of a booster and the explicit ban on boosters that provide financial opportunities for student-athletes are quickly being challenged – likely in the form of an antitrust lawsuit.

While existing deals may not get as much scrutiny, the classes of 2022 and 2023 could be the first and last to get lucky in these 10 Months of big spending – unless, of course, the schools and boosters decide to continue to evade recruiting policies for aspiring student athletes and continue to give them signing bonuses at scale. And yes, that really can happen. It’s clear that people are no longer afraid of the NCAA. Whether that’s a positive or negative remains to be seen, but it’s starting to look more like the reality we live in.

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