A new beginning in NCAA athletics

Written by Bailey Mruzik

The world of college athletics is ever-changing, and so are the rules that impact those competing.

Back in July, the NCAA Division I board of directors made the decision to suspend amateurism rules among college athletes and now allow them to profit off of their name, image and likeness. This affects college athletes at all three divisions of the NCAA. 

At the Division I level, students have previously been restricted on the money-making opportunities they could pursue due to their ability to receive athletic scholarships. At Division III schools like Adrian, athletes have always been allowed to write books, sell items, or make money in any way they choose. 

“The difference for us at this level is that there are now restrictions we must follow,” Adrian College Athletic Director, Michael Duffy explains. 

With that being said, athletes across the board are now granted possibilities for some extra cash in their pocket, even those that receive scholarships at the Division I level. As time has passed, many states, conferences, and schools in the U.S. have begun to put their own twist on this new policy.

 “A lot of states are passing their own name, image and likeness laws, and these vary from state to state,” Duffy said. 

He mentioned that it is important for Adrian College student-athletes to be aware of the specifics if they look to profit in any way while participating in college athletics.

Adrian College apparel, including uniforms, are not allowed to be used to promote NIL activities. Additionally, no Adrian College facilities are allowed to be utilized for activities. Among other details, athletes must disclose their NIL activities to the school so the school can make sure they are entering a contract that will still consider them eligible in their sport.

Because the implementation of this rule is so recent, the NCAA still awaits the possible changes in college athletics that will arise. 

“Right now, there is a big discussion about modernizing the NCAA Constitution for today’s athlete compared to an athlete from 30 plus years ago,” said Duffy.

College athletics have changed greatly over the years, with technology and other societal advances allowing for opportunities that athletes in the past could have only dreamed of.

“This is such a cool time in college athletics,”  Mya Shirey, Adrian College basketball player said. “Social media and other ways of advertising have made it possible for student athletes to compete while making a living.” 

Even though this is a policy prominent for athletes in Division I, other schools in the NCAA are still able to have their say in what happens with name, image, and likeness rules in the future.

“In Division III, I think we are very self-sufficient and happy with our processes,” Duffy said. “I believe we have a lot of control in votes when it comes to these policies.”

As a whole, NCAA Division III is composed of 400+ schools, making it greater than the sum of the Division I and II schools combined. 

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