NCAA votes to allow college athletes to profit from their 'name, image and likeness'

Posted at 1:16 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 15:19:39-04

The NCAA voted unanimously to allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness, "in a manner consistent with the collegiate model."

This past September, California passed a new law to start letting college athletes accept endorsement deals, or to be able to profit off their name, likeness and image, by 2023, which differed from decades of past decisions by the NCAA that prevented college athletes from getting paid.

The NCAA Board of Governors is directing the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updating bylaws and policies that apply to the new decision for the 21st century, according to Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of The Ohio State University.

The board asked each division of the NCAA to create any new rules starting now, and no later than January 2021.

The new ruling opens the pathway for all college athletes to start profiting off of deals such as endorsements, ads and other profitable means of using their names, likeness, and image.

The board outlined areas that need to be revamped with the new ruling:

  • Assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
  • Maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
  • Ensure rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
  • Make clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.
  • Make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
  • Reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.
  • Enhance principles of diversity, inclusion and gender equity.
  • Protect the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.

The NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group made recommendations regarding the new decision, and based on these findings, the board voted to take action.

The State Legislation Working group is made up of presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, administrators and student-athletes. The Board sought input from the group over the past several months, and from other stakeholders.

Those who provided input included current and past student-athletes, coaches, presidents, faculty and commissioners from each of the three divisions.

"The board also directed continued and productive engagement with legislators," said a spokesperson in a release. The group will continue to gather feedback from now until April on how state and other federal legislation will need to be revised to accommodate the new ruling.

“As a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student-athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”