Few things seem more natural than being paid for the use of your likeness, at least if you aren't in charge of the NCAA. But that might soon change, as the collegiate athletics association is considering making some changes.
The NCAA is forming a committee to explore the ways in which athletes might be compensated.
"This group will bring together diverse opinions from the membership -- from presidents and commissioners to student-athletes -- that will examine the NCAA's position on name, image and likeness benefits and potentially propose rule modifications tethered to education,'' said Big East commissioner Val Ackerman, who is heading up the group. "We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area."
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith made it clear that the committee will not discuss paying students outright in an employer-employee relationship.
"While the formation of this group is an important step to confirming what we believe as an association, the group's work will not result in paying students as employees,'' Smith said, per ESPN. "That structure is contrary to the NCAA's educational mission and will not be a part of this discussion.''
An antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA filed in 2009 led to the end of the lucrative NCAA Football video game series and allowed schools to pay athletes up to $5,000 for year for the use of their names. However, that latter ruling was overturned on appeal.
This issue has become so charged that the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are considering taking up the question. Republican Congressman Mark Walker introduced a bill that would allow athletes to profit off of their names while they are still attending school.
The majority of the online reaction to the news concerned NCAA Football. The beloved video game series hasn't released a new version since 2013 and rule changes could allow the game to come back.