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NCAA's recent NIL guidance not expected to initiate significant change

The NCAA's recent "saber-rattling" regarding NIL deals is "so laughable," according to Blake Toppmeyer of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. The NCAA on Monday unveiled "NIL guidance," which included "no new rules." Rather, the NCAA offered a "reminder of existing rules -- which have not been enforced in the 10½ months since athletes received a green light to profit off their fame." Deals have been made "under the association’s nose for months without interference." Toppmeyer: "Why should anyone believe this rules reminder and continued threat of enforcement will put the train in reverse?" The NCAA has "shown all bark and no bite." Without enforcement, this guidance "remains toothless." Toppmeyer: "What incentivizes boosters and prospects to follow the rules instead of continuing to swim in the murky waters in which collectives operate?" Rules are "only as effective as your ability to enforce them," and the NCAA "continually demonstrates that consistent and timely rules enforcement isn’t its strong suit" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 5/11).

BUSINESS AS USUAL? CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd wrote Univ. of Miami booster John Ruiz "does not feel threatened" by the NCAA's new guidance. He sees his enterprise "not only above the fray but as a leader in the burgeoning industry." After learning the details of the NCAA's NIL guidelines, Ruiz said, "To me, it's business as usual. I was navigating directly with the rules." He added: "The term booster is irrelevant in my view because, if you have a legitimate business, it doesn't matter if you are a booster or not. The deal is an arms-length transaction." Dodd wrote NCAA enforcement has a "giant job ahead of it." It is "one thing to condemn boosters; it's another to get the enforcement mobile out of the garage and start investigating wrongdoers." The most the NCAA can do to boosters is "disassociate them from a school." Boosters are "not compelled to cooperate with NCAA investigations." However, "disassociate" means those boosters could "not have any contact with a school's athletic interests in any way." Any hint at "limiting college athlete compensation" these days "smacks of an antitrust violation." The NCAA is "to blame for letting all of this get that far" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/10).

ABSOLUTE CHAOS: In California, Jim Alexander writes it is "absolute chaos in college sports these days." Whether it is "good trouble probably depends on whether you sympathize with the athletes or the administrators." The NIL "revolution that was intended to help balance the scales for athletes currently on campuses" has been "taken over by booster collectives throughout the major conferences." NIL has been "turned into a recruiting tool -- a hammer, actually -- and every frightening vision that in previous years would have led to another passage in the NCAA rule book appears to be coming true." The disorder is an opportunity for "serious college sports reform that benefits not only the schools and the administrators but the athletes and fans." Alexander: "The only problem is, who makes the call? Congress? The chancellors and presidents? Whoever is destined to be the new NCAA president?" (Riverside PRESS-ENTERPRISE, 5/11).

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