CT Athletes React to NCAA Compensation Rule Changes

Student-athletes, including at Trinity College, are applauding a major move that could allow them to cash in on endorsement deals.

“Athletes definitely deserve to be compensated for the hard work that they do,” said Kyle Padmore, Trinity Basketball's senior captain.

The NCAA’s Board of Governors voted to allow students to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.

“Whether they’re being brand influencers and things like that where they have an opportunity to make a little bit of extra money on the side I think on the whole that’s a positive,” said Drew Galbraith, Trinity Director of Athletics.

In a statement the NCAA Board of Governors’ chair Michael V. Drake wrote in part, “We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.”

All three divisions are now considering updates that:

  • - Assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students
  • - Maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience
  • - Ensure rules are transparent, focused and enforceable

Senator Chris Murphy tweeted in response to the announcement:

“For those of us who have been pressing for reform this is positive news. Good for the NCAA, but this is just a first step.”

The NCAA’s action comes after more states, including Connecticut, had been looking at legislation to allow student-athletes to earn money.

State Senator Derek Slap, who was pushing for such a change, says he’s cautiously optimistic.

“But the devil is in the details. We’re going to have to see what they come up with and if it’s really adequate,” says Slap.

Slap said he still plans to hold a hearing and move forward with this issue on a state level.

David Benedict, UConn's director of athletics, also approved of the move.

"I am supportive of student-athletes being allowed the opportunity to monetize their name, image and likeness and am looking forward to learning more about the legislative process to determine how we and our student-athletes can move forward in a thoughtful way to ensure reform is achieved without sacrificing ethical standards. The landscape of collegiate athletics has changed significantly over the last several decades and the NCAA definition of a student-athlete needs to be modernized. If a student-athlete has the capacity to benefit financially from his or her NIL, this should in no way jeopardize his or her amateur status," he wrote in a statement.

The NCAA hopes to have the new rules in place before January 2021.

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