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Wade: "Devil is in the Details"

Wade weighs in on NIL compensation
Posted at 10:09 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 00:01:18-04

Will Wade is not all-in on the NCAA's plan to allow players to be compensated for their likeness. Not because he doesn't support the idea, because he does, but because it's a very vague plan.

Wade is not wrong.

Wednesday's announcement was that the NCAA would allow players to be compensated for their name, image or likeness (NIL.) Players could be paid off autographs, memorabilia, and even signed endorsement deals, so long as they don't include team images. The earnings will not be capped and will be brokered by third parties; so, neither schools nor conferences will be allowed to be involved.

But that was essentially all the substance the NCAA gave. In fact the announcement really was that the NCAA will draft legislation to allow this payment. The NCAA won't even vote on it until January.

"I don't think the NCAA has hammered through a lot of the details," Wade told reporters during a virtual press conference Wednesday. "I think it's a good first step and we have to see where things play out down the stretch. They've talked about putting in guardrails, but the devil is in the details with how it's handled."

The guardrails Wade speaks of are the safeguards the NCAA wants to put in place to keep people from abusing the system. The NIL compensation isn't allowed to be used as a recruiting tool, but how do you monitor that? That is still one of the dozens of questions that remain. Another question is whether or not this will satisfy state governments, many of which are building their own laws to allow players to pay, something the NCAA is also seeking immunity from.

“This proposal is one step forward, one step back,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy from Connecticut Democrat. “The NCAA wants to limit athlete endorsement deals in a way that could make them totally impractical. And the NCAA wants Congress to give it total power of athletes’ compensation. That should be a non-starter.”

“Throughout our efforts to enhance support for college athletes, the NCAA has relied upon considerable feedback from and the engagement of our members, including numerous student-athletes, from all three divisions,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory.”

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