ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first day of the NCAA convention ended with one major initiative that affects Olympic sports, a pledge to enhance the organization’s policy on sexual violence and more discussion about how to compensate athletes for their name, image and likeness.
On the policy front, the NCAA Div. 1 council approved legislation that will allow athletes designated as elite by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and corresponding national governing bodies in other countries to receive additional training expenses, including travel for parents, guardians, coaches and sports experts.
“The intent is to be as supportive of student-athletes, college athletes as we can be and allow them this very extraordinary singular opportunity to represent their country every four years and do that in a way that isn’t damaging to the overall college athletic model,” NCAA president Mark Emmert told USA TODAY Sports in an interview last week. “The NCAA has been trying to be as helpful as it can both to the U.S. Olympic movement and also to the young men and women that get to compete in those sports.”
The other major news item came from Ohio State president Michael Drake, who said the NCAA Board of Governors is scheduling a special meeting in the coming weeks to form a more comprehensive sexual violence policy, which follows a Congressional push for the NCAA to look into how it handles issues like athletes who are expelled from one school for rape or sexual assault but can transfer elsewhere and play.
A recent USA TODAY Network investigation detailed numerous instances where athletes were able to keep playing college sports even after they were determined to be responsible for sexual offenses. The NCAA’s role previously has been more broad to ensure that campuses are enforcing their own policies.
“It’s time to rethink and revisit the policy, which we’re going to do,” Drake said.
Emmert is scheduled to give his annual state of the NCAA address on Thursday, at which time he is expected to address the NCAA’s push to modernize its rulebook to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. University of Pennsylvania athletics director Grace Calhoun, who chairs the Div. 1 council, said there was progress made in discussions on how to fit that model within the context of college sports.
“The thing we keep going back to is we really have to control the pre-enrollment activity,” she said. “What’s unique about college athletics is the recruitment. In most other markets you don’t have this sense of manipulation of free choice of where the student would end up going. So we’re really looking at the representatives of athletics interest (boosters) and how they’d be involved with this both pre-enrollment but also how that would play out and how you do have a true sense of market. Is there transparency? Reporting? What other controls could be put in place to make sure that happens?”
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Dan Wolken on Twitter @DanWolken.
Source: Read Full Article