The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the move “to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.” But Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sports management at George Washington University, worries the plan could have unintended consequences for college athletes and says the board has a lot to hash out before they implement the changes.
“In theory, this all sounds great, but there are so many details that need to be worked through,” Delpy Neirotti said. “Who will actually make money off of this, and are they going to follow the NFL Players Association where there’s a group pool where all athletes will share evenly in any license rights?”
The timing of when players are paid could also be an issue, according to Delpy Neirotti.
“I would also recommend that any revenue that is generated by these athletes stay in a fund until either they graduate or their scholarship opportunity has ended,” she added.
The move comes after California’s governor signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which is set to take effect in 2023.
The NCAA says a modern strategy is needed.
“And at the same time, recognize the need to maintain and the desire to maintain a collegiate model and have that be distinct from professional sports,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said.
But in a tweet, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, said that language “suggests the NCAA will still be pulling the strings.”
The NCAA expects to implement the plan by the start of 2021, bringing major challenges for everyone involved.
“With this new change in policy comes the need for a lot of education for these athletes,” Delpy Neirotti said.