Less than one year after college athletes gained approval to benefit from their name, image and likeness, the NCAA is issuing updated guidance to try and address issues related to booster involvement in the recruiting process that have long violated the organization’s rules.
The announcement Monday from the Division I Board of Directors clarifies that boosters engaged in so-called “collectives” that are created to provide NIL opportunities for athletes shall not be used as inducements for prospective high school recruits or college transfers.
The opening of NIL opportunities for athletes on July 1, 2021, has created concern as arrangements seen as pay-for-play arose in the recruiting landscape.
For example, offensive linemen at the University of Texas received commitments of $50,000 per year for their support of charitable causes. And Nijel Pack — recent men’s basketball transfer to Miami — was guaranteed $400,000 per year and the use a of car.
However, those were just two of many high-profile NIL deals that have been announced once players committed to or enrolled in schools.
The previous guidelines required schools to follow NIL laws of their respective state, if they existed, while schools in states without NIL laws were allowed to implement their own process. To date, more that half the states have passed NIL laws.
The new policy created by a task force and approved by the board of governors creates a standard set of rules to govern all schools.
“While the NCAA may pursue the most outrageous violations that were clearly contrary to the interim policy adopted last summer, our focus is on the future,” NCAA board of directors chair and University of Georgia president Jere Morehead said in a statement.
“The new guidance establishes a common set of expectations for the Division I institutions moving forward, and the board expects all Division I institutions to follow our recruiting rules and operate within these reasonable expectations.”
The new guidance goes into effect immediately and schools that were in violation of the rules regarding booster involvement in recruiting prior to Monday still could be punished, though the NCAA said it would only be looking into “those actions that clearly are contrary to the published interim policy, including the most severe violations of recruiting rules or payment for athletics performance.”