NCAA will permit athletes to be compensated for their names, image, and likeness

National News

FILE – In this April 19, 2019, file photo, an athlete stands near a NCAA logo during a softball game in Beaumont, Texas. The NCAA is poised to take a significant step toward allowing college athletes to earn money without violating amateurism rules. The Board of Governors will be briefed Tuesday, Oct. 29 by administrators who have been examining whether it would be feasible to allow college athletes to profit of their names, images and likenesses. A California law set to take effect in 2023 would make it illegal for NCAA schools in the state to prevent athletes from signing personal endorsement deals. (AP Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the NCAA task force’s report on the feasibility of allowing athletes to profit from their names and images.

The NCAA Board of Governors has taken the first step toward allowing athletes to cash in on their fame. The board voted unanimously on Tuesday to clear the way for the amateur athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image, and likeness.”

The vote came during a meeting at Emory University in Atlanta.

In a news release, board chair Michael V. Drake said the board realized that it “must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.”

Specifically, the board said modernization should occur within the following principles and guidelines:  

  • 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.

“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. The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert

2:30 a.m.

A key NCAA task force is expected to provide an update on whether it would be feasible to allow athletes to profit from their names, images, and likenesses while still preserving amateurism rules for the nation’s largest governing body for college athletics.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and Big East Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman are leading the working group, which will present a progress report to the NCAA Board of Governors at Emory University in Atlanta this week.

It is an important early step in a process that could take months or even years to work its way through the NCAA various layers.

NCAA rules have long barred players from hiring agents and the association has steadfastly refused to allow players to be paid by their schools, with some exceptions. A California law set to take effect in 2023 would prevent athletes from losing their scholarships or being kicked off their teams for signing endorsement deals. Other states could put laws in place earlier than that.

The NCAA says it represents some 450,000 athletes nationwide.


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