NCAA Begins Process to Allow Athletes to Profit off Their Image and Likeness

(Photo: Maryland Athletics)

On Tuesday, the NCAA announced that their Board of Governors have unanimously voted to begin the process of exploring ways to allow athletes to profit off of their own image and likeness. 

In an official release, Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of The Ohio State University said, “The Board of Governors’ action directs each of the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies for the 21st century.”

“Flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships,” added Drake.

The board laid out principles and guidelines in which they say modernization of the NCAA should follow, including assuring student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate, to make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible, and to protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.

Before moving forward with this process, the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group provided recommendations. That group included university presidents, commissioners, athletic directors, administrators and student-athletes. 

According to the release, the board is asking all three divisions to develop any new rule changes immediately, but no later than January 2021.

This whole process comes less than a moth after California Governor Gavin Newsome signed the SB206 Act, also known as Fair Pay to Play, into law – which allows college athletes in the state to make money off their own image and likeness. 

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