NCAA forms working group to look into paying college athletes for name and likeness

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The NCAA on Tuesday announced the creation of a working group that is the organization’s first step in potentially recognizing that college athletes can profit off their name and likeness.

The NCAA-appointed group, called the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, will be made of up representatives from all three NCAA divisions, including conference commissioners, athletic directors, school presidents and a student-athlete from all three levels.

The group will be co-chaired by Big East commissioner Val Ackerman and Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith.

“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,” Ackerman said in the NCAA’s release. “We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area.”

It should be noted that this group will not consider anything construed as payment for playing college sports as the NCAA is still sticking with its amateur model that prohibits pay-for-play.

While it’s hard to say what this group will decide, or how they will even work in the first place, this seems like a positive step in the right direction when it comes to college athletes getting potentially compensated for their image and likeness.