Facing mounting pressure from a federal class-action lawsuit, the NCAA on Friday opted to get rid of the name-and-likeness release that student-athletes sign before competing in Division I sports.
According to a report from Dan Wolken and Steve Berkowitz of the USA Today, athletes who signed the release gave the NCAA or an associated third party, permission to use his or her name or picture to promote events such as NCAA championships without being compensated.
These sorts of things often happened in promotion of an athlete directly through the student-athlete’s school or conference.
With the class-action lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon looming, the NCAA is doing the best they can to distance itself from future legal issues that could arise if a ruling goes against them.
How will this affect college sports? That’s hard to say. If you regularly watch sports channels or channels that air NCAA programming, you’ve probably noticed that players are promoted in the ads by using their face or name.
Without the use of this student-athlete release, it will be interesting to see how those types of promotions could change.