NCAA Division III Surveyed On Image Rights Of Student Athletes

NCAA Division III presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, conference officials and members of the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee expressed their views on the possible legislative principles surrounding names, photos and similarities through an online survey conducted last month by the organisation.

The governance structure of the division administered the survey to seek feedback from members who are tasked with passing legislation that would allow student-athletes more flexibility to use their names, images and similarities to promote their own business activities and endorse products or services of third parties.

Dan Dutcher, NCAA vice president of Division III, said: “Division III members are shaping how best to modernize rules to benefit student-athletes while also staying true to the principles of college sports as a part of higher education.

“It is important for the governance structure leadership to continuously engage with the membership, which will make the final decision on how best to move forward at the 2021 Convention.”

In April, the Board of Governors approved amendments to the rules to require student-athletes to accept compensation for third-party endorsements related to athletics and separate from it. It also approved incentives for other resources for student-athletes, such as social media, companies they founded and personal appearances under the guiding principles originally established by the board in October.

The goal is to have new regulations on name, picture and similarity enacted at the NCAA Convention 2021 and then introduced before the academic year 2021-22.

The survey had 384 respondents, with athletics directors responsible for 63 percent. Chancellors and presidents make up 19 percent of the study. Forty of the 44 commissioners from Division III replied to the survey, as did 27 of 44 members from the SAAC.

According to the NCAA, 70 percent or more of the survey respondents agreed that student-athletes would be able to use their status as athletes to support and monetize goods and services in the areas of private lessons (89 percent), camps or clinics (79 percent), social media channels (70 percent), innovative projects (92 percent) and their own businesses (88 percent).

Payment for student-athlete autographs was supported by 38 percent of respondents, while roughly 18 percent said that they were undecided.

Two-thirds or more of the survey respondents agreed that student-athletes should be able to use their status as athletes paying for appearances (66 percent); promote commercial products through social media platforms (71 percent); model or promote non-institutional athletic apparel or equipment (75 percent); promote third party products or services through traditional commercials (71 percent);

Crucially, 90 percent of the survey suggested that laws would be in place to prohibit student athletes from using their position as athletes to advertise goods and services such as sports betting, alcohol or tobacco.