NCAA Votes to Allow Athletes to Cash Out on “Name, Image and Likeness”

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Photo by Phil Roeder. https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/25748751301

ATLANTA, Georgia — Change is coming to the NCAA and the thousands of athletes that participate in NCAA athletics. During a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, the NCAA’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to allow athletes “to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

Within the last few months, several states have taken action or shown interest in abolishing compensation rules that have prevented collegiate athletes from receiving money. Amidst the recent decision by California to allow collegiate athletes the opportunity to cash out, the NCAA’s decision comes in a timely matter.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” board chair Michael V. Drake 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.”

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According to the press release, the NCAA has invited all three divisions to create rules. Officials will continue to gather feedback to further define rules and operations concerning paid athletes.

New rules and changes coming to the NCAA are to follow these 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,” 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.”