The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Tuesday that it has formed a working group to examine the organization’s rules on name, image and likeness benefits for student athletes.
The NCAA president and Board of Governors said in a release that the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group will consist of “member representatives from all three NCAA divisions.”
The organization said part of the group’s efforts will be to study modifications of the organization's current rules.
“This group will bring together diverse opinions from the membership — from presidents and commissioners to student-athletes — that will examine the NCAA’s position on name, image and likeness benefits and potentially propose rule modifications tethered to education,” Val Ackerman, the commissioner of the Big East who will also serve as co-chair of the group, said in a statement.
“We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area,” Ackerman continued.
Ohio State senior vice president and athletics director Gene Smith, who will also be a co-chair on the working group, also added that “while the formation of this group is an important step to confirming what we believe as an association, the group’s work will not result in paying students as employees.”
“That structure is contrary to the NCAA’s educational mission and will not be a part of this discussion,” he said.
Multiple lawmakers have recently introduced legislation seeking to counter the NCAA’s rules prohibiting student athletes from being able to profit from their likeness and image.
Earlier this year, Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerWe are all paying for DeSantis' defiance of the First Amendment Democrats look to make debt ceiling a winning issue Veteran, author launches US Senate campaign in North Carolina MORE (R-N.C.) introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to receive compensation.
"Signing an athletic scholarship with a school should not be a moratorium on your rights to your name, image, and self-worth," Walker said in a statement at the time. "It’s time to bring equity to student-athletes and fix the injustices that exist in the current NCAA model. After nearly two years of discussions with players and leaders, we are introducing legislation that won’t cost the NCAA or our schools a single dollar, while empowering college athletes with the same opportunities that every American should have in a free-market."
A group of Colorado state senators also announced plans seeking to do the same earlier last month.