The NCAA’s Board of Directors approved a new set of rules that give schools the right to choose whether or not to provide compensation and benefits for student-athletes but not every player may get them because schools have the right to deny them.
The New York Times compiled the 11 “areas of autonomy” approved by the board and explained exactly what they mean and what they apply to in terms of allowing schools to pay their players. Some of the biggest changes include allowing athletes to make money off of their name and allowing the schools to raise the scholarship levels so there are no gaps in tuition coverage if they choose to play for them. The new rules also allow schools to provide a higher level of medical coverage and health insurance either directly or by paying for loans for students to have insurance if they are injured during practice or a game. Players can even choose to have agents represent them in these cases if the school allows it for their players.
Some of the other changes include allowing schools to provide more meals to players that aren’t “associated with an athletic activity” and spend more money on prospective students and their families during campus visits.
These rules don’t change across the board for every school. Giving schools the power to make these choices are basically the NCAA’s way of weaseling out of responsibility or compromising their stubborn belief that college players are amateurs and don’t deserve to be compensated at all while they rake in millions in profits. However, it is a big step that nobody thought would happen this soon and now it’s up to the schools to decide if they want these rules to go into effect. Let’s hope they make the right choice.