Consideration of compensation for college athletes likely to move forward

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:06 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A big change to college sports is likely coming soon. On Wednesday, June 30, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors will meet to discuss adopting an interim policy that allows college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name and likeness.

Kansas State University said this is something it knew was coming for months. The university hired a consulting fire to make sure their athletes can go about the process in the right way. Both K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor and K-State football quarterback Skylar Thompson said it’s an opportunity they’re excited for. Under new NCAA recommendations, soon, college athletes like Thompson may be able to profit from things like endorsements and social media posts.

“I think that it will give us a lot of really good opportunities to make money off our name,” Thompson said.

Taylor said he agrees with several of the recommendations.

“There are a lot of good things about name image and likeness (NIL) that I agree with that we probably should have done a few years ago,” he said.

If passed, the governing board would suspend amateurism rules and a temporary policy would allow athletes to engage in this type of activity without violating rules. Taylor said they’ve been preparing their athletes for months, hiring the consulting firm.

Currently, the focus is on helping athletes understand their brand, how they can build it and educating them how to do that.

Without a nationwide or state law providing guidelines, that leaves universities like Kansas State to make their own rules.

“Our compliance staff is working on that. They need to report their deals and make sure they monitor who they are working with and let us know who they are working with. We need to make sure they are staying in our team rules,” Taylor said.

Thompson said when athletes hear NIL, they might think it’s an easy process.

“But there is a lot of stuff I think we need to be educated about and Kansas State has done a good job of that,” he said.

Eyewitness News also reached out to the University of Kansas and Wichita State University for comment on the recommendations related to name, image and likeness and athlete compensation. Wichita State said it would wait until July 1, after the June 30 board of directors meeting, to comment.

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