In a stunning turn of events, the NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow student-athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”
A call for student-athletes to receive compensation for their time at school has long been debated, with California recently moving to implement their own legislation regarding the matter. Considering the NCAA’s pushback against the proposed bill, this decision comes as a pleasant surprise for collegiate athletes across the nation.
Various professional athletes, such as LeBron James, have also taken to social media to express their support of California’s bill.
Each of the NCAA’s three divisions must now meet to update their rules in order to align with the new policy. The board listed a number of guidelines to be followed in the revision. As per the NCAA, the guidelines must:
- “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.”
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of The Ohio State University. “...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 would like each division to devise any new rules immediately, but no later than January 2021.