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Texas A&M does not appear to have any concerns about the potential ramifications of NCAA violations. The Aggies are leaning into the Lone Star State’s new NIL law by going full-send into the future with their rollout of a new Name, Image and Likeness entity.
Athletic director Ross Bjork announced A&M’s AMPLIFY platform on July 1.
It will serve as the university’s in-house NIL platform.
AMPLIFY is an innovative and comprehensive name, image, and likeness program designed to equip Aggie student-athletes with tools and training to maximize their platform.
AMPLIFY serves Texas A&M student-athletes with best-in-class education and resources related to personal branding, networking, finance, and media training. We look to help our student-athletes in three key areas:
- EDUCATE student-athletes on rules, best practices, and processes in place at A&M to help them make informed decisions.
- EQUIP Student-athletes with the skills and resources that will help them AMPLIFY their brand.
- EMPOWER Student-athletes to leverage their personal brand to create meaningful partnerships that foster mutual growth and positive impact in their communities.”
Essentially, AMPLIFY will give student-athletes the tools they need to make the most money and build the largest brand possible while in College Station and beyond. On the surface, it’s pretty straightforward.
However, there is some controversy (for lack of better word) to come with it.
Texas A&M doesn’t seem to care about the NCAA!
The NCAA sent “letters of clarification” on NIL practices to its member schools at the end of June. It was intended to remind programs across the country that they could be subject to violations if they are not approaching NIL within NCAA guidelines.
Bjork and the Aggies do not appear to care about what the NCAA has to say.
Texas — the literal state of Texas — passed a law during its most recent legislative session. The bill, HB 2804, allows in-state colleges to interact directly with NIL collectives and other third-party entities.
That goes against what the NCAA has said. Even though it happens every single day, the NCAA does not allow schools or staffers to interact with collectives.
Texas A&M has decided that state law trumps NCAA guidelines. New NCAA president Charlie Baker only helped the Aggies make that decision with his recent comments about NIL.
I think it was a big mistake by the NCAA not to do a framework around NIL when they had the opportunity to. And I think there were too many people in college sports who thought no rules would work really well for them. And what everybody’s discovered is no rules, no transparency, no accountability, no framework, doesn’t work well for anybody.— Charlie Baker, via the Associated Press
Notice how Baker said “no rules” on multiple occasions. The NCAA president himself is admitting that there are no rules.
Why would any program under NCAA jurisdiction try and adhere to the rules if there are none?
That seems to be Texas A&M’s approach. The Aggies are going full-send without fear of the NCAA.