By Adam Harris
Each year, Baylor student-athletes sign a financial-aid agreement that binds them to the bylaws expressed in the NCAA Division I Manual. Recent violations regarding name, picture and likeness have moved an article of the manual into the national spotlight.
Article 12 of the NCAA Constitution expresses the rules of a player regarding amateurism. Specifically, Article 126.96.36.199 lays out the rules of commercial use of a student-athletes name, picture or likeness.
“The NCAA bylaws stipulate that a student athlete’s name, picture or likeness may not be used for commercial endorsements,” said Chad Jackson, Senior Associate Athletics Director of Compliance. “Further, the student may not use they’re name, picture or likeness for personal profit.”
Agreement to the bylaws comes through a student-athlete’s signing of his or her scholarship.
“An institution recruits and then offers a scholarship to a prospective student athlete,” said Jackson. “Then the prospective athlete decides, ‘I want to go to school “A”,’ and they sign a financial aid agreement with that school.”
Jackson said the University has various programs in place to make sure student- athletes are aware of the bylaws.
“We have multiple team meetings per year. We have email campaigns to help our student athletes fully understand these bylaws,” Jackson said.
Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Nick Joos said it is important to keep students educated on the bylaws.
“We want to avoid exploitation of the student athlete,” said Joos. “I think it falls on everyone associated with Baylor,” Joos said.
So when does a student- athlete’s signature become an NCAA violation?
“We all want our student athletes to be friendly with our fans,” Jackson said.
Joos said student-athletes are told to personalize his or her autographs.
“If it’s a ‘To Nick’ autograph, its less likely to end up on eBay,” Joos said.
Jackson said the main point of Article 12 is to maintain a student-athlete’s amateur status.
“Intercollegiate athletics is an amateur venture,” said Jackson. “If individuals are receiving pay for their athletic ability, that professionalizes them.”