Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Jerry Kreuze

Second Advisor

Jack Szott


This research paper was done regarding the discussion on the NCAA allowed athletes to accept endorsements or enhance the use of their name, image and likeness opportunities. In October 2019, the NCAA’s board voted unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model. Prior to this ruling, it was not allowed for college students to do any of these things. The Board of Governors’ action directs each of the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies for the 21st century. The board specifically stated modernization should occur within the following principles and guidelines (NCAA, 2020):

  • Assurance 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.

These actions by the board were based on recommendations from the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, which includes presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, administrators and student-athletes. The group gathered input from numerous stakeholders over the past several months, including current and former student-athletes, coaches, presidents, faculty and commissioners across all three divisions. The working group will continue to gather feedback through April 2020 on how best to respond to the state and federal legislative environment and to refine its recommendations on the principles and regulatory framework. The Board asked each division to create any new rules beginning immediately, but no later than January 2021 (NCAA, 2020). While rulings in the past have not supported college athletes to enhance these opportunities, the NCAA’s President Mark Emmert stated that “as a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student-athletes. The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals” (NCAA, 2020).

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted