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Notre Dame announces statement of support for NCAA’s decision to allow athletes to profit

| Wednesday, October 30, 2019

In response to the announcement made by the NCAA on Tuesday morning that the Board of Governors had unanimously voted to allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, Paul Browne, University vice president for public affairs and communication released a statement expressing support for the decision.

“Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins has long supported the idea that student-athletes should be able to monetize their popularity, as long as abuse is prevented and their character as students — not professional athletes — is preserved,” he said in the statement.

The decision comes on the heels of a law that was recently passed in California preventing schools from punishing athletes for accepting endorsements. Over a dozen other states have proposed some variation of this law.

While the NCAA has maintained that there will still be some provisions to distinguish between collegiate and professional sports and that the California law extends too far, this is a major shift for colleges and athletes alike.

Browne continued in his statement, referencing a 2015 New York Times article that described Jenkins as “a passionate defender of his alma mater … [who] agrees that the NCAA is struggling to find its role on a changed playing field.”

The statement concluded with the same New York Times article explaining that at the time the article was written, Jenkins suggested “that student-athletes should be able to monetize their fame, with limits.”

There are still many questions as to how the NCAA and specific colleges expect to make this transition to a semi-monetized system but the laws in California certainly advanced the NCAA’s initial timeline as they have already dedicated three separate divisions to immediately develop a strategy going forward.

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