USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams talks with USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley during the first half of the game against No. 6 Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

New NCAA Proposal Would Allow Athletes to Be Paid Directly

With everyone in the nation talking about FSU not making the College Football Playoff this week, the NCAA has new proposal might have people buzzing for months to come.

On Tuesday, NCAA President Charlie Baker sent a letter to every Division I school with an intent to completely shake up the college sports scene.

Direct Deposit for Athletes?

The proposal is looking to make a new subdivision of colleges that allow the institutions to directly pay athletes.

This is different than NIL. Outside organizations, like Florida Victorius, pay D1 athletes through sponsor funding based on their Name, Image and Likeness.

However, in this proposition, institutions would be able to use their own money to pay any athlete any amount. Legally, the form of payment would be through an “enhanced educational trust fund.” Although limited, there are a couple of guidelines with this plan:

  • Minimum of $30,000 for participating athletes

  • At least 50% of qualifying athletes must be paid

  • Due to Title IX, men and women must each get equally paying opportunities

Baker would go on to call this proposal a “forward-looking framework.”

Why This Matters

If approved, the schools involved in the new division would be allowed to make their own rules and govern themselves. This meaning that colleges can create and remove policies with ease.

The kicker with this idea is that no monetary cap would exist on the pay of players. Big schools like Alabama, Texas and Georgia could potentially go out and spend big bucks on the top recruits.

But for the other schools that are nowhere near the same finance level of the elite institutions, an implementation of a new division could make it even more difficult for some teams to compete.

Will This Happen?

After two years since NIL being approved, it appears the NCAA is looking to turn college sports into something similar to professional sports, in the sense that both would now pay athletes to play.

A drastic change like the one Baker is presenting may take the entire board to give it the green light. Nothing is in place for now, but the intentions and plans are set. It will be interesting to see how a proposal of this magnitude plays out and if it may affect other school levels going forward.

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