South Dakota public universities will now have policy for student athletes who hope to ‘cash in’

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A new policy says student athletes at South Dakota’s public universities can be paid for their names, images and likenesses.

The state Board of Regents adopted it Thursday. The change comes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision against the NCAA.

“We are one of a minority of states that doesn’t have any laws on the books,” Nathan Lukkes, the regents’ legal counsel, told the board.

Some student athletes have already started monetizing themselves, according to Lukkes. He said the policy can serve as a placeholder that sets boundaries and could be adjusted in the future.

South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, who compete in NCAA Division 1-AA in football and Division 1 in other sports, were “very engaged” in drafting the policy and making it consistent within their plans, Lukkes said.

Regent Tony Venhuizen of Sioux Falls said everyone except the NCAA expected the association would lose. He wants the student athletes protected but doesn’t want a straightjacket of regulations.

“I kind of struggle with it because it’s a little bit of the Wild West right now,” Venhuizen said. He added, “This is good work.”

Regent Jeff Partridge of Rapid City supported moving forward with the policy but cautioned that more work will be needed. Venhuizen agreed.

So did Lukkes. “This is step one of who knows how many,’ he said.

SDSU President Barry Dunn noted that the NCAA plans a constitutional convention with changes up for approval at a January 2022 meeting. The regents issued a news release afterward.

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