University of Virginia Athletics Director Carla Williams will be part of a new NCAA working group that will examine student-athlete name, image and likeness rights, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.
NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors appointed the members of the working group, which will be co-chaired by Big East Conference commissioner Val Ackerman, a Virginia graduate, and Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith. John J. DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University, will be the Board of Governors representative.
The group will have representatives from all three NCAA divisions. Other notable members of the working group are Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, University of Georgia president Jere Morehead and Colorado athletics director Rick George.
Student-athletes that compete at NCAA programs are currently not allowed to profit off of their name and likeness while competing for their school.
“This group will bring together diverse opinions from the membership — from presidents and commissioners to student-athletes — that will examine the NCAA’s position on name, image and likeness benefits and potentially propose rule modifications tethered to education,” Ackerman said in a release. “We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area.”
The group will study modifications of the NCAA’s current rules, policies and practices, but, according to an NCAA release, will not consider any changes that “could be construed as payment for participation in college sports.”
“While the formation of this group is an important step to confirming what we believe as an association, the group’s work will not result in paying students as employees,” Smith said in a release. “That structure is contrary to the NCAA’s educational mission and will not be a part of this discussion.”
A final report from the group will be due to the NCAA Board of Governors in October, with an update provided in August.
Williams, the first female African-American athletics director at a Power Five conference institution, will bring lots of college administrative experience to the group.
Prior to being named Virginia’s director of athletics on October 22, 2017, Williams was an athletics administrator at the University of Georgia for 13 years and was named the school’s deputy director of athletics in 2015. Before arriving at Georgia, Williams was an assistant director of athletics (2000-03) and an associate director of athletics (2003-04) at Vanderbilt.
Williams also has extensive experience working with groups and committees within the NCAA. She served on the executive committee for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics from 2010 to 2014 and was a member of the Southeastern Conference’s executive committee from 2009 to 2011. Williams also participated on the NCAA women’s basketball issues committee from 2010 to 2014 and was an executive board member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators from 2007 to 2009.