A huge step has been taken in the journey to make another NCAA licensed game. The Division I council voted to recommend the DI board of directors adopt a temporary policy suspending amateurism rules related to name, image, and likeness. This would not be in lieu of the monumental verdict from SCOTUS just last week, but serve as a stand in policy until federal legislation or new NCAA rules are in effect.
Division I Council recommends changes
The policy opens NIL (name, image, likeness) activities to student-athletes while maintaining the prohibition of pay-for-play scenarios. The idea being the policy leaves commitments to avoiding pay-for-play and improper incentives tied to choosing to attend a particular school intact. The policy provides the following guidance to member schools, student-athletes, and their families:
- College athletes can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities are responsible for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.
- Student-athletes who attend a school in a state without a NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image, and likeness.
- College athletes can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
- Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.
The NIL interim policy allows school and conferences to adopt their own policies. On Wednesday, the Division I board will review the council’s recommendation; Divisions II and III have until the same time to vote on the interim NIL policy as well.
So What Now
Just last week, SCOTUS invalidated the NCAA’s amateurism rules; the first blow to them on a federal level. The obstacles of making another licensed game are becoming smaller and smaller. We could be witnessing history right before our very eyes. EA plans for a 2023 release for the return of the beloved franchise, though it is currently under the working name EA Sports College Football. Barring any more setbacks, that 2023 release window is looking a bit more clear.
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