It was a good day to be a BYU football player on Monday, or, for that matter, a college athlete of any sort.
Around the same time BYU unveiled its newly renovated football locker room at the Student Athlete Building on the Provo campus, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision essentially saying that the NCAA’s ban on college athlete compensation violated the federal antitrust law.
While limited in scope, Monday’s court ruling apparently paves the way for the destruction of the model of amateurism that the NCAA and its member schools – including Utah, BYU, and Utah State – have held nearly sacred for over. 100 years old. But the news was greeted with appreciation by BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, who said in a statement requested by Deseret News that the Cougars have been preparing for such a change for several years.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is another element in helping us adjust to the needs of student-athlete compensation,” said Holmoe. “BYU Athletics continues to support our student-athletes who are making as much money as possible in this new landscape.”
On its Football Media Day last Thursday, BYU announced the creation of Built4Life, which it called “a holistic career development program for BYU student-athletes that will prepare them for life beyond BYU. Athletics and will help them capitalize on future name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities.
The University of Utah launched a similar program the same day.
Monday’s ruling did not address the NIL issue, and legal experts say the 9-0 decision in favor of former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston is limited in scope and warned of the read more than necessary. It was more of the NCAA unfairly limiting educational benefits like computers and internships.
Regardless, Holmoe believes BYU is at the forefront of preparing its student-athletes for the NIL and all other compensation opportunities.
“We believe that our Built4Life program that we officially launched last week provides the holistic support needed to help our student-athletes (benefit from their name, image and likeness) … while also benefiting from an important career development that will be important to them. beneficial beyond their time at BYU. Regardless of the details of student athlete compensation or NIL legislation, we are ready to make it part of our Built4Life program.
BYU’s agenda is built on four main pillars, according to a press release on Thursday: Learn, Score, Work, and Love.
“While many are wondering what NIL will mean for the fastest ways to charge student-athletes, we’re here for the long haul.”
BYU officials say the program “may work” regardless of the final form of the NIL legislation or what the Supreme Court said on Monday.
Gary Veron, who has worked in BYU’s compliance office for the past four years, has been appointed associate athletic director for the student-athlete experience and will oversee the Built4Life program.
“While encompassing ways to help student-athletes realize their NIL potential, (the program) is much more than a NIL plan,” said Veron. “In many ways, Built4Life was created by student-athletes for student-athletes. It is a program that will continually improve as we seek regular feedback and feedback from our student-athletes. “
Certainly, Monday’s Supreme Court decision does not harm this cause.