SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Within the coming weeks, the NCAA plans to crack down on boosters who are funding name, image and likeness payments to athletes, payments the association says are violations of long-standing NCAA rules. NCAA Council chairman Shane Lyons told CBS Sports the association’s ruling body is motivated to push back against what is becoming a burgeoning scandal of disguised “pay for play” in college athletics.
“How are they having conversations [with athletes]? They’re boosters,” Lyons said Tuesday during the Fiesta Summit, a series of conference spring meetings. “We’ve never let boosters be involved in the recruiting process. Where did it go off the tracks? … The collectives are boosters.”
Those collectives — of which some estimate there may be more than 100 — emerged as an unintended consequence of what has basically become unchecked NIL benefits. The heads of some of the larger collectives are well known to both coaches and administrators.
John Ruiz Jr. is a billionaire alumnus who leads a University of Miami collective and has become the face the NIL collective issue. he is also an attorney, the son of Cuban immigrants who attended Miami when its football dynasty took shape in the 1980s.
“My platform is very consistent with all the rules with NCAA and state law,” Ruiz told CBS Sports. “We probably have a more robust compliance system than the schools or the NCAA itself. I’m extremely comfortable. This is totally kosher. We have legitimate companies.”
Ruiz has not heard from the NCAA regarding his NIL sponsorships since launching his collective earlier this year.
Per NCAA rules, boosters are not allowed to pay players directly or be part of a university’s recruiting process. The NCAA defines boosters as…