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NCAA adopts temporary rules allowing athletes to earn money off name, image and likeness

The decision effectively suspends NCAA restrictions on payments to athletes for sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

NCAA athletes will be eligible to make money on their name, image and likeness (NIL) starting Thursday after the NCAA announced it had adopted new, unified, interim NIL rules for all incoming and current athletes.

“This is an important day for college athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a press release.

The NCAA’s decision to suspend restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.

Emmert added these policies would be temporary as the NCAA continues, “to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level.”

Some states already have laws that lay out what and how collegiate athletes are currently allowed to benefit. Others do not. The policies the NCAA adopted Wednesday reflected that. 

Under these policies, athletes, recruits and their families are allowed to profit from their name, image and likeness as long as it is within the current laws of whatever state the school is in. In states where there aren’t currently NIL laws on the books, there are no such restrictions. All athletes however, should report their NIL activities to their school.

The policies laid out by the NCAA are not sacrosanct, however. The interim policies also permit the individual schools and conferences to develop their own protocols.

“The new interim policy provides college athletes and their families some sense of clarity around name, image and likeness, but we are committed to doing more,” Division III Presidents Council chair Fayneese Miller said. “We need to continue working with Congress for a more permanent solution.”

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting.

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Author: Joe Calabrese
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Bird, Taurasi earn spots on fifth US Olympic basketball team

The duo was selected Monday for their fifth Olympics, joining Teresa Edwards as the only basketball players to play in five Olympics in U.S. history.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi will try and become the first five-time Olympic gold medalists in basketball as they lead the U.S women’s team at the Tokyo Games.

The duo was selected for their fifth Olympics on Monday, joining Teresa Edwards as the only basketball players in U.S. history to play in five. Edwards won four gold medals and a bronze in her illustrious Olympic career.

“It’s just been a tremendous journey when you think about playing for that long,” Taurasi said. “We’re trying to take it to the next generation. Focused on what we have to do to come home with gold. Tremendous competition like no other because of COVID, the delay of the Olympics. We’re really focused on winning gold.”

There have been five international basketball players to play in five Olympics: Spain’s Juan Carlos Navarro, Brazil’s Adriana Moises Pinto and Oscar Schmidt, Australia’s Andrew Gaze and Puerto Rico’s Teofilo Cruz.

The 40-year-old Bird and 39-year-old Taurasi will lead a veteran group in Japan, including 6-foot-6 Sylvia Fowles, who will be playing in her fourth Olympics. Tina Charles will be in her third while 6-8 Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart are back for a second time.

There will also be six newcomers to the Olympic stage led by reigning WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson. The Las Vegas Aces star helped the U.S. win the World Championship in 2018 in Spain. Others making their Olympic debuts are Skylar Diggins-Smith, Chelsea Gray, Ariel Atkins, Jewell Loyd and Napheesa Collier.

“Happy for the roster we have. There’s a great mix of very experienced players to first-time Olympians,” said Dawn Staley, who will be the first Black head coach of the team. “You need a good mix especially if you’re going to take care of winning a gold medal today and what the future looks like.”

Two former WNBA MVPs who didn’t make the roster were Elena Delle Donne and Nneka Ogwumike. Delle Donne hasn’t played all season as she’s recovering from back surgery. Ogwumike has been sidelined with a left knee sprained suffered earlier this month. She was expected to return around the WNBA’s Olympic break next month.

Both players were on the World Championship team that won gold in 2018 and Ogwmuike has been to nearly every U.S. training camp over the last few years. She’s the only former WNBA MVP not to make an Olympic roster.

“Breaks my heart that Nneka isn’t on this team,” Staley said. “Having to make a decision today, if we had to make a decision a month from now I’m sure she’d be healthy. This was one of the things she wanted to do. … She’s been a great voice in our training camp and practices. We’re going to definitely miss Nneka.”

The Americans have won the last six consecutive gold medals, not dropping a game at the Olympics since 1992. Staley has been a part of five of those teams, three as a player and two as an assistant. She was honored to be the first Black coach to lead the U.S.

“I think is is something to be proud of. It also allows other doors to be open and opportunities for other Black coaches to hold these positions,” Staley said. “So there’s a lot of pressure to to win gold because of it. And I look forward to that challenge, as always.”

The Americans, who are heavy favorites to win again, are in a pool with France, Japan and Nigeria, which the U.S. opens up against on July 27. The Americans face Japan on July 30 and France on Aug. 2.

The U.S. team will get together in Las Vegas in July to train for a week as well as play an All-Star Game against a selection of WNBA players. The Americans will also play games against Australia and Nigeria.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Stanford, UConn, NC State, S. Carolina earn No. 1 seeds in women's tourney

This could be one of the most wide-open tournaments in history, with a dozen teams capable of winning the women’s NCAA title.

UConn is in its normal spot with a No. 1 seed for the women’s NCAA Tournament. Familiar territory for Stanford and South Carolina, too.

It’s a brand new day for North Carolina State. And the Huskies, while used to their position in the bracket, are facing some uncertainty after coach Geno Auriemma tested positive for the coronavirus.
N.C. State is a No. 1 seed for the first time, joining Stanford, South Carolina and Connecticut on the top lines for the San Antonio-themed regions for the women’s tourney. The Cardinal earned the overall No. 1 when the field was revealed Monday night.
Auriemma’s Texas arrival will be delayed. He will remain in isolation for 10 days and can rejoin the team on March 24. The other members of UConn’s travel party have tested negative for COVID-19.
He’ll miss the Huskies’ opening game against High Point — one of four first-timers in the NCAAs — and a potential second-round matchup against either Syracuse or South Dakota State.
While the coronavirus caused many disruptions to the schedule throughout the regular season, it looks as if most of the teams in the field made it to the tournament healthy.
Stanford, which will open against Utah Valley, had quite the odyssey this season because of the coronavirus. It had to play on the road for nine weeks after Santa Clara County health officials announced they were prohibiting all contact sports in late November.
The Cardinals, who are looking for their third national championship, are the top seed in the Alamo region. The Hemisfair, Mercado and River Walk are the other region names.
RELATED: USC women earn number 1 seed in NCAA Tournament
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For the past few years, earning one of the top 16 seeds would give a team home games in the tournament’s first two rounds, but that’s not the case this year. Every game will be played in the San Antonio area because of the pandemic, with the last four rounds tipping off at the Alamodome.
This could be one of the most wide-open tournaments, with a dozen teams capable of winning the title. There were five different No. 1 teams in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll this year, including the Huskies, who finished the season at No. 1.
The national semifinals take place on April 2, and the championship game will be held April 4.
Tennessee continued its streak of making the NCAA Tournament all 39 years. Joining High Point as NCAA rookies are Stony Brook, Utah Valley and Bradley.
Notre Dame’s run of 24 straight NCAA appearances came to an end. The Irish were one of the first four teams out of the tournament.
Even without Notre Dame, the ACC is well represented with eight teams in the field. The SEC and the Big Ten each had seven schools earn bids. The Pac-12 had six. The Big 12 had five.
With no tournament played last season because of the virus, Baylor is still the defending champion. Coach Kim Mulkey’s team is very different from the one that won the title, but still is quite talented, winning the Big 12 regular season and conference tournaments.