Money for students. First steps by the NCAA.

Ohio state | NCAA

On Tuesday, the NCAA working group will be required to present a “set of principles” to the Governing Council of the organization that will govern the situation with the rights to the name and image of student athletes. In an interview with CBS, Big Bowl 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, a member of the group, said this.

“We are trying to develop principles that are as close as possible to the amateur status of college sports,” Bowlsby said. “On Tuesday, we will ask the Council a few questions to take into account their wishes.”

Bowlsby also emphasized that all the actions of the group are preliminary. His co-chair, sports director of the Ohio State program, Gene Smith, agrees with him: “You should not expect any revelations.”

NCAA management set up a working group in May. Sources within the organization report that possible changes in the association’s policy should not be expected before the start of 2021.

While college sports leaders reflect, some states make certain moves. California law enters into force in 2023. This week, the governor of Florida announced that he will sign a similar act, which will take effect from early July 2020.

“We cannot create a single national recruiting system if there are fifteen rule options in fifteen states,” Bowlsby said. “Everyone agrees that change is necessary. But we are also confident that the student sports model has certain components that are inappropriate to compare with a professional one. ”

Bowlsby himself has extensive experience working with the US NOC and has participated in the formation of the so-called “Olympic model”, according to which students in the national team have the opportunity to use sponsorship money to pay for their preparation for performances.

“Certainly, it’s worth discussing some structure that would allow students to use third-party funds to pay for expenses related to education,” Bowlsby adds.

What the NCAA previously called the “final report” actually seems to be the starting point for finding a compromise. Creating a working group in itself is already a huge step for the association. The increasing pressure from the public already leads to what students call "unpaid labor." There are also proponents of change in university leadership. Wisconsin sports director Barry Alvarez says: “If someone is quite inventive to make money online, then I don’t see a problem.”

There are several other important points. In 2014, the National Council on Labor Relations recognized the right of students to form unions. The process was later suspended, but a precedent already exists.

The Pac-12 conference in 2015 published the results of a study according to which student athletes spend an average of 50 hours a week on training. Meanwhile, NCAA rules limit this activity to 20 hours. The conclusion of the study was: "Many athletes are too exhausted to learn effectively." Since then, a series of reforms have been carried out to improve the conditions for athletes.

A month ago, NCAA President Mark Emmert called the ongoing discussion a threat to the existence of college sports. Meanwhile, support for California law was expressed by some influential people in the organization. Among them are Michigan head coach Jim Harbo and Atlantic 10 conference commissioner Bernadette McGlade, who said the time has come for a “new student sports model.”

It is not yet clear which way the NCAA will go. Perhaps state laws will apply in some way. There is another option - federal law, which is currently being actively discussed in the US Senate. While it is obvious to everyone that the problem is becoming more serious.