A final report is due in August after the group “studies modifications of current rules, policies and practices” with a "focus on solutions that tie any changes to education; maintain the clear demarcation between professional and college sports; and further align student-athletes with the general student body.”
As revenues have risen dramatically at the highest level of college sports over the past 10-20 years, calls for athletes to be compensated beyond the value of a scholarship and room and board have grown louder.
While college leaders have generally opposed treating athletes as employees, allowing them to accept money for their name, image and likeness has been suggested (by outsiders) as an alternative.
It is an issue Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany punted last summer during his annual state of the conference address at Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago.
>>5 things Delany did discuss
The announcement of the working group comes lawmakers in multiple states have proposed laws overriding some of the NCAA's rules and regulations, including one in the Colorado state senate that would allow schools to pay athletes a salary and let them accept endorsements.
“We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area,” Ackerman said in a statement.