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NCAA Board Of Governors Unanimously Votes To Begin Process Of Allowing Students To Profit Off Name, Image, And Likeness

The NCAA’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to begin the process of considering rule changes to allow student-athletes to make money off of their name, image, and likeness “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model,” according to a press release issued Tuesday.

Compensating student-athletes has been a hot-button issue in college athletics for a long time. Different states — including Pennsylvania — have begun circulating “Fair Pay to Play” acts that would prohibit the NCAA from punishing student-athletes for making money. California became the first state to pass a “Fair Pay to Play” act, and it’s currently set to take effect in 2023. North Carolina Republican representative Mark Walker is also sponsoring a federal bill on the matter that’s currently being worked on.

According to a release, the NCAA’s Board of Governors took this course of action because of “comprehensive recommendations from the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, which includes presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, administrators and student-athletes.” The board also communicated with legislators throughout the United States on this matter.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” Michael V. Drake, President of Ohio State and the NCAA Board of Governors’ chair, said. “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.”

The board has ordered each of the NCAA’s three divisions of competition to “immediately consider updates” to its policies and bylaws, according to a release. The release also included a specific list of rules that “modernization should occur within,” which you can read below:

  • 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 Board asked each of the NCAA’s three divisions to amend the existing rules and to create new rules “beginning immediately, but no later than April 2021.”

The NCAA’s initial response to California’s “Fair Pay to Play” act passing in September was fairly negative. The NCAA claimed the law was “unconstitutional” in a letter to California governor Gavin Newsom, and it also threatened to ban universities in California from competing in NCAA events.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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