NCAA Could Keep Rules Banning Pay-for-Play, Recruiting Incentives After SCOTUS Ruling

After the recent Supreme Court ruling that the NCAA cannot limit college sports stars from receiving education-related benefits, the NCAA is working toward a solution that may still keep in place rules that ban pay-for-play and recruiting incentives.

An anonymous source spoke with the Associated Press about the possible solution, saying that while the NCAA may waive its rules banning college athletes from being paid for their name, image and likeness (NIL), other rules for potential compensation would still be kept.

A decision has not yet been finalized, but the NCAA could end up allowing athletes to earn money off their NIL starting on July 1. The rules would vary by state.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

A detail of the giant NCAA logo is seen outside of the stadium on practice day before the NCAA Men's Final Four at Atlanta's Georgia Dome on April 5, 2013. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NCAA Board of Governors was scheduled to meet with the Division I Board of Directors on Thursday to discuss the next step for sorting out NIL.

The Division I Council discussed possible next steps to NIL earlier this week and is scheduled to meet again Monday. A final decision could be made by the Board of Directors next Wednesday—one day before NIL laws go into effect in at least six states.

In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, laws go into effect July 1 that make it impermissible for the NCAA and member schools to prevent athletes from being paid by third parties for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

The NCAA had hoped for a national law from Congress that has not come, and its own rulemaking has been bogged down for months. College sports leaders are instead moving toward the type of patchwork regulation they have been warning against for months.

Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence, whose company is working with dozens of schools to create NIL programming and assistance for athletes, said it "seemed unfathomable" the NCAA would allow this to happen. "But now that might be the best strategy," he said.

Following the template of a recommendation made by six Division I conferences to the D-I Council last week, schools would follow their state NIL laws. To that end, the University of Florida released its NIL guidelines that, among other things, bar school employees and boosters from compensating athletes for NIL use.

About a dozen other states have NIL laws that could take effect next month, and states such as Ohio have legislation pending.

"In a strange twist of events, schools in states without laws could have an advantage because they can make any rules they want," Lawrence said.

Most state laws about to go into effect restrict schools from being involved in financial agreements athletes make with third parties, Lawrence said. Given the ability to make their own policies, some schools might decide to take a more active role.

The pivot to a hands-off approach to NIL by the NCAA could be part of a broader strategy following the Supreme Court ruling. The high court said the NCAA cannot limit benefits schools provide to major college football and basketball players as long as they are tied to education.

The decision also raises the possibility of future antitrust challenges to NCAA compensation rules. A way to avoid those would be having conferences take the lead in setting those standards.

NCAA Baseball
Mississippi State fans react as Notre Dame infielder Spencer Myers catches a Mississippi State fly ball in the first inning of an NCAA college baseball super-regional game on June 13 in Starkville, Mississippi. Notre Dame won 9-1. Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo