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What the NCAA name, image, likeness proposal means for college athletes

The NCAA Board of Governors has given the association's three division legislative councils until January to map out rules for name, image and likeness pay.

BELTON, Texas — This week, the NCAA's biggest legislative group took an unprecedented step.

After months of debate and push back, the NCAA board of governors announced it was supporting guidelines for college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

"I think this is going to benefit D1 more than D3," UMHB Athletic Director Randy Mann said. "But, I do think there are advantages for all athletes."

According to the NCAA Announcement, the agreement would have to be with a third party and not with the university the athlete attends. The athlete could acknowledge who they are and what they play, but the school's logo couldn't appear in the material.

"We've had several stars on this campus and we've had a lot of businesses reach out, wanting to do an advertisement or put them on a billboard and they weren't able to benefit," Mann said. "Now, they can benefit a little bit."

The board turned to the legislative councils for each of the NCAA's three divisions to shape the rules for their divisions, specifically. 

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, co-chair of the NCAA's working group on the matter, said they want the policy to go in to effect for the 2021-22 school year.

"We're not going to be talking about large sums of money," Mann said. "We know the boosters can't get involved. So, there's a lot of things that need to be put in place."

Mann said he thinks the premise is great for college athletes and allows them a form of assistance they've never been able to receive before.

But he agrees there's a lot to navigate before the guidelines are put in place and student-athletes can start to benefit.

Meanwhile, he and athletic directors and university presidents everywhere are trying to work out whether they'll be on campus this fall and able to play sports.

"I haven't really discussed with anybody," Mann said. "I know on the conference level, we've just begun talking as AD's."

Big East Conference commissioner Val Ackerman is also a co-chair of the working group and said, in the NCAA's announcement: "As we evolve, the Association will continue to identify the guardrails to further support student-athletes within the context of college sports and higher education. In addition, we are mindful of the impact of the COVID-19 pandmic on higher education, college sports and students at large. We hope that modernized name, image and likeness rules will further assist college athletes during these unprecedented times and beyond."

Representatives from Baylor University's athletic department were unavailable for an interview Friday.

Here's the full interview with UMHB Athletic Director Randy Mann:

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