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NCAA Intends to Enhance Consumer Protection in Ever-Changing NIL Era



Charlie Baker, the president of the NCAA, has expressed the urgent need to establish a “consumer protection system” tailored for collegiate athletes and their families. This system aims to equip them with the necessary tools to discern legitimate opportunities from fraudulent ones in the realm of name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the national championship game on Monday, Baker emphasized the prevalence of athletes making NIL decisions based on insufficient information regarding the credibility of companies and sponsors vying for their endorsement.

“One crucial aspect we’ve been diligently working on is what we refer to as a consumer protection package,” Baker stated. “It’s imperative that, for the first time, there’s some semblance of transparency in the market. This will enable student-athletes and their families to gauge the authenticity of promises and offers they receive. Additionally, we’re exploring the creation of a platform akin to Yelp or TripAdvisor, where student-athletes can share their experiences with third parties, distinguishing those that act ethically from those that do not. Currently, this space remains largely anonymous, placing undue pressure on young athletes and their families.”

Expressing further concerns, Baker addressed the burgeoning impact of prop-betting on collegiate sports, citing direct conversations with athletes alarmed by its implications.

“The rise of prop-betting poses significant challenges for student-athletes, a sentiment echoed by many I’ve spoken to,” he remarked.

In addition to these concerns, Baker commended the remarkable growth of women’s basketball, highlighted by the record-breaking viewership of South Carolina’s triumph over Iowa in the national title game. He urged federal intervention to address the evolving complexities surrounding NIL in college sports.

Recent reports from The Athletic have shed light on proposals by a coalition of collegiate and professional sports executives suggesting the adoption of a European soccer-inspired framework to navigate the rapidly evolving collegiate sports landscape.

This proposed “super league” model would categorize the top 70 schools in college sports, eliminating existing conference structures. It would introduce divisions and offer a pathway for a second tier of 50 teams to vie for promotion into the upper echelon, akin to the relegation model seen in European soccer leagues.

When questioned about this proposal, Baker emphasized that the decision should ultimately rest with the schools themselves.

“Such a decision must be made autonomously by the schools,” he affirmed. “It’s a matter that warrants careful consideration on their part.”

As the NCAA continues to grapple with the multifaceted challenges posed by the NIL era and other evolving dynamics in collegiate sports, the emphasis on safeguarding the interests of student-athletes remains at the forefront of its agenda.



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