CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – With a $38 million expansion to its football stadium, along with hosting a nationally televised men’s basketball tournament and a bowl game next year, Coastal Carolina University has embraced the big business of NCAA Division I athletics.
College sports are a multi-billion dollar industry and the NCAA is close to allowing the athletes to make their own money.
“(The NCAA) reached out to us, the coaches and the administrators, and now allow us to have input on what happens ultimately,” said Coastal head football coach Jamey Chadwell. “I think it’s a great first step.”
After a new law passed in California and legislation was proposed in several states, including South Carolina, the NCAA decided Tuesday it will update its rules to allow athletes to profit off their names, images and likenesses. This could include sponsorship deals, video game appearances and hosting clinics for younger athletes.
According to the NCAA’s board of governors, the new rules should follow these guidelines:
- Assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
- Maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
- Ensure rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
- Make clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.
- Make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
- Reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.
- Enhance principles of diversity, inclusion and gender equity.
- Protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.
Chadwell says he hopes the new rules will be fair for schools like his.
“You want to make sure everybody has the same competitive advantage and same playing field,” he said. “Whatever the NCAA puts together, hopefully that’ll make that happen.”
The rules will also change for Divisions II and III, including Francis Marion University in Florence, which is a D-II school.
“My wife was an art major and she sold her art pieces while she was in college,” said FMU athletic director Murray Hartzler. “A college athlete can’t do that, so there’s an inherent equity problem here to begin with.”
Hartzler says while it’s too early to see how the rules will affect the Patriots, it will be tough for the NCAA to figure out how much athletes can make or what they’re allowed to do to make money.
“The NCAA is going to have to come up with a solution that is going to address all the issues in different states and different people,” Hartzler said.
All three divisions have until Jan. 2021 to establish their rules.
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