NCAA ruling change brings big win for local Division 3 athletes

Sports

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (WKBN) – Athletes competing at the collegiate level had a big win this week. The NCAA has recently made some major changes that not only affect their Division 1 athletes, but all of their athletes.

Athletes are able to use their name, image and likeness to make money. This could be for advertising deals or running their own training program.

This is big news for athletes at all levels competing in the NCAA, but especially those in Division 3.

“You’re in a division that is a non-scholarship division. I think anything that allows our athletes to be competing, essentially on the same playing field as their D-1 and D-2 counterparts, and now I think that is a real positive thing for us, for our league and for our athletes,” said PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko.

Westminster College sophomore softball player Riley Lewis thinks it is a good thing.

“I feel like it’s very good to get the opportunity and the chance to be able to profit off of my name potentially,” Lewis said.

As of right now, there is no national NIL standard that the NCAA can adapt. This leads to challenges for conferences like PAC that operates in multiple states.

“You know, we’ve got conference schools in three different states and until we get a national NIL standard, we are going to have to be cognizant of that. You know, an athlete out of Westminster or Grove City or Thiel may have different rules they have to follow than, say, somebody down in Franciscan in Steubenville, Ohio,” Onderko said.

Both Ohio and Pennsylvania have made it legal for NCAA athletes to receive compensation for their image and likeness.

Onderko said that this is not the end of the battle with the NCAA and the various state laws. He said the NCAA will continue trying to find a way to create a national NIL that can work across the board.

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