State of Virginia puts pressure on NCAA for direct pay-to-play NIL with signed bill

UCLA v South Carolina
UCLA v South Carolina / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The state of Virginia's direct pay-to-play NIL bill signed on April 18 that empowers universities in the state to broker NIL deals with players without having to go through a third party will put pressure on NCAA President Charlie Baker, says Yahoo Sports' Ross Dellenger.

As Dellenger points out, Baker's proposal to set up a similar system was put on hold but may need to be fired back up after Virginia's legislation.

"More pressures for the NCAA and its membership to lift prohibitions on direct athletes compensation/NIL," Dellenger said of the bill. "As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Charlie Baker's Project DI - of which the first phase is direct NIL from schools to athletes - has, for now, been paused."

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin signed the NIL bill to go into effect on June 1 per College Athletics Attorney Mit Winter.

NCAA faces uphill battle if they continue to lack action and states continue to pass laws

The Dartmouth men's basketball team being ruled as university employees was the first step in changing the conversation in college sports as it pertains to NIL. That happened back in early February.

Since then, the states of Tennessee and Virginia have made major moves to regulate NIL on its own terms; with the latest decision from Virginia being a legitimate game-changer that could force action from the NCAA.

At this rate, the NCAA has more than lost the plot. The non-profit organization has lost control.

With the US congress's inability to get a hold on the current system, states have moved in the direction of being on the universities and players' side, empowering professional sports-like deals. Couple the pay-to-play structure with unlimited transfers without a requirement for players to sit out, and you have a college sports reality where the NCAA is an observer as opposed to a governing body.