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State of sports: An analyzation of NCAA regulation leading to the formation of interim N.I.L. policy

Braht, Max
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, often referred to as the NCAA, has gone to great lengths to ensure student-athletes remain within the organization’s classification of “amateurism”. This is done for, what the NCAA proclaims is “to ensure that the athletes are students first, thus protecting education as the primary reason for attending a college or university” (Afshar 2015); however, the magnitude of the business behind collegiate athletics has nothing amateur about it. In 2019 the NCAA reported to have generated a total revenue, among all NCAA sanctioned athletic departments, of roughly $18.9 Billion– which is more than that of the NHL, MLB, or even the NFL, in the same year. In order to remain within the NCAA’s classification of amateurism, student-athletes were not allowed to receive direct financial compensation as a result of their name, image, or likeness– until recently.
On June 30th, 2021, the NCAA Division Board of Directors approved the first Name, Image, and Likeness policy, which went into effect July 1st, 2021. While this was a monumental first step in the just treatment of student-athletes by the NCAA, there are still many uncertainties regarding the long-term effects this policy may have on the future of the organization. The purpose of this thesis is to dissect existing NCAA regulations that are negatively impacting student-athletes, to discuss how these regulations have led to the formation of an NCAA interim N.I.L. policy, and to predict how this policy will likely serve as a catalyst for future change within the NCAA.