Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann is embracing whatever allowance the NCAA seems to be making toward permitting players to benefit from their name and likeness in ways they have not before.
"I think we all recognize this is just a matter of time for this to get done," Holtmann said. "Some could say it’s long overdue."
Most do say that, and whatever is said by NCAA leadership and its membership from this point forward will define how radically -- if at all -- this changes college athletics as we've known it.
The key phrase in the announcement Tuesday from the special board of athletic administrators named in May to study the issue is that it will permit athletes "to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model."
"Benefit," does not necessarily mean cash payments.
And, "in a manner consistent with the collegiate model," is a complete wildcard, since there couldn't be anything more inconsistent with the previous collegiate model than compensating athletes for their name and likeness.
“Like most of my colleagues, I’m in favor," Holtmann said. "How it works and how you make it work in terms of teaching your guys about filing taxes and all those things that are going to go along with it. There’s a lot that goes into it but this is a good step.”
The NCAA will now get to work determining exactly how to implement its grudging willingness to get ahead of growing legislation in various states that would have forced its hand.
The NCAA hopes to do that in a way that ensures its new standards are "transparent, focused and enforceable" and do not create a competitive imbalance.
No one knows, least of all the players like OSU sophomore guard Duane Washington.
“I haven’t really done too much research on it or looked into it too deep,” Washington said. “I just heard about it, saw it on social media, maybe looked at a few articles here and there, but I don’t really know much about the details."
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