Report: NCAA Nixes Student-Athletes' Name and Likeness Consent Form

By D.J. Byrnes on July 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm

With a federal judge's decision looming in Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA, autonomy for the Power Five conferences isn't the only evasive action the NCAA is taking.

Per a report from USA Today's Dan Wolken and Steve Berkowitz:

[...] The association has eliminated a much-debated name-and-likeness release from the set of forms Division I athletes sign annually, USA TODAY Sports has learned.

Athletes who signed the release had granted permission for the NCAA or an associated third party, such as a school or conference, to use his or her name or picture to promote NCAA championships or other events without being compensated. The NCAA's removal of that component from what is known as the Student-Athlete Statement, which includes a series of other releases on disclosure of personal information and eligibility, is yet another indication that the NCAA is trying to distance itself from legal entanglements that have arisen as a result of growing questions about who owns college athletes' names and likenesses.

The NCAA had argued in the O'Bannon testimony, despite numerous contradictory testimonies, that the form releasing student-athletes' name, image and likeness wasn't necessary. 

The Big Ten, however, has been using more specific forms as of late:

Some conferences and schools, including the Big Ten Conference schools, have been requiring athletes to sign more specific name-and-likeness release forms. The Big Ten form has stated that the athlete's signature grants to the school and conference "the right to publish, duplicate, print, broadcast or otherwise use in any manner or media, my name, photograph, likeness or other image of myself for any purpose" the school or conference determines is in its interest.   

It will be interesting to see if this is merely a way to provide cover for the NCAA in future appeals, or it means the NCAA will allow student-athletes to cash in on their name, image and likeness going forward. 

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