NCAA Progresses in Enforcing NIL Regulations through Agent Registry and Deal Transparency Proposals.

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NCAA Progresses in Enforcing NIL Regulations through Agent Registry and Deal Transparency Proposals.

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In a recent NCAA college football game on September 30, 2023, in Boulder, Colo., Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams faced pressure from Colorado defensive lineman Leonard Payne Jr. (Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA Division I Council took a significant step towards regulating compensation for college athletes by introducing a series of proposals aimed at increasing transparency in transactions and overseeing those working with students.

These proposals, stemming from the recommendations of the NIL working group, are pending finalization at the council meeting, concluding on Wednesday. If approved, they could be implemented as early as January at the NCAA convention.

The key proposals entail the establishment of a voluntary registry for NIL service providers, such as agents and financial advisors; mandatory disclosure of NIL deals exceeding $600 by athletes to their respective schools; the development of a standardized NIL contract; and the implementation of educational programs for both high school prospects and college athletes.

NCAA President Charlie Baker expressed his support for this development, stating, “Today’s action by the DI Council is a great step toward achieving our shared priority at the NCAA, which is better outcomes for all college athletes who participate in NIL activities. As the Association makes these changes to improve the environment for young people with NCAA rules, I look forward to partnering with members of Congress to build on these protections and create greater consistency and opportunities for all college athletes.”

Since the NCAA lifted its ban on college athletes profiting from their names, images, and likenesses in the summer of 2021, it has operated without comprehensive NIL regulations. The absence of clear guidelines has led to a patchwork of state laws governing how athletes can capitalize on NIL, resulting in inconsistencies and a lack of transparency that hinders the NCAA’s ability to enforce rules against improper recruiting inducements or pay-for-play practices.

While college sports leaders have advocated for federal NIL legislation in Washington, the NCAA is now taking steps to establish its own framework, given the uncertain timeline for external support.

Morgyn Wynne, vice chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a player for Oklahoma State softball, expressed encouragement at the council’s focus on protecting student-athletes amidst the evolving NIL landscape.

The DI Council also greenlit a set of proposed penalties for infractions cases, which includes more stringent sanctions for individual rule violators. These measures involve expanding suspensions for coaches to encompass the period between competitions, imposing penalties on schools employing individuals with a show-cause order, and extending disassociations with boosters found in violation of rules. This shift in the infractions process aims to encourage school cooperation by targeting individuals rather than imposing broad sanctions that affect athletes not involved in the rule-breaking.

Additionally, the council approved proposals to publicly identify individuals linked to major infractions and establish a public database of coaches with a history of Level I and II infractions.

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