The NCAA will begin allowing college athletes to make money off the use of their image, name and likeness, a reversal to their long-standing opposition to the proposal which had been gaining popularity in states across the country.
On Tuesday, the organization’s governing body voted unanimously to allow college athletes to receive financial compensation – a move which comes a week after New Jersey became the latest state to enter the national debate.
Student-athletes should not be treated any differently than any non-athlete students, the NCAA said in its press release, and should not be considered the same as university employees.
The school’s athletic program must “make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible,” and must make a “clear distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities,” the press release adds.
We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.
– Michael Drake, board chair, NCAA
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” board chair Michael Drake said in a statement.
“Additional 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,” he added.
The legislation New Jersey lawmakers informally rolled out last week would have allowed college athletes to profit off the use of their name, image and likeness, following in the path of California, which recently enacted similar legislation.
It is not immediately clear whether the legislative sponsors – Sen. Joseph Lagana, D-38th District, and Senate Higher Education Chair Sandra Cunningham, D-31st District – would go forward with the bill.
Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association and National College Players Association announced Monday that they would explore how collegiate athletes could receive that kind of monetary compensation.
New York and Florida lawmakers were considering similar measures, which was previously setting up a collision course with the NCAA which barred any such compensation.