NCAA agrees to allow college athletes to make money from the use of their names and images in historic move
The governing body had vehemently protested when California passed a bill to allow the athletes to earn endorsement deals last month
When California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill last month allowing college student-athletes in the state to make money from the use of their images or names going against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bylaws and posing a challenge to the idea of amateur sports in America, the sports body was upset.
NCAA president Mark Emmert spoke out against the bill and reportedly told athletic officials that the idea of student-athletes making money posed an “existential threat” to athletics and the governing body’s very business model.
However, a month since then, the NCAA has said that it backs the idea of the college athletes earning from compensation. It, however, added that it’s only beginning to work out the details of how the model will work out.
On Tuesday, October 29, the organization’s board of governors said it had voted unanimously to allow the student-athletes to benefit from the use of their names, images and likenesses.
While the sudden shift in NCAA’s stance surprised many, Chairman of its Board of Governors Michael Drake—who is also the president of the Ohio State University—said in a statement: "We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.” He also stressed on the need for "additional flexibility" in the governing body’s approach.
“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 timing for the implementation of the changes was not instantly clear.
The NCAA has been under pressure from various state governments and even the Congress and said its new decision was in tune with input over the past few months from “current and former student-athletes, coaches, presidents, faculty and commissioners across all three divisions.”
The pressure on NCAA was getting all the more intense after California’s move led to similar developments in other states like Illinois, Florida, New York and others that called for allowing monetary deals for college students. After California passed the bill, national politicians suggested that they would push something similar in the Congress.