On the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 29, The NCAA announced it would allow student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness, according to a news release.
“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 in the news release. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”
The NCAA’s board of governors made the unanimous decision to allow student-athletes to be financially compensated, according to the news release.
Division I, II and III are to immediately consider updating any bylaws and policies pertaining to student-athletes and compensation, board of governors chair and Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake said in the news release.
This decision is a “natural extension” of the NCAA’s efforts to improve their efforts in supporting student-athletes, according to Drake.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” Drake said in the news release. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education.”
While the board of governors directed these new rules to be implemented immediately, they must be created by January 2021.
The decision came after the NCAA originally condemned Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB-206) that allows California student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness beginning 2023.
Assembly member Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), who was a co-author of the Fair Pay to Play Act when it was in the state assembly, tweeted that it was “not a surprise” the NCAA changed its opinion on compensating student-athletes.
— Jordan Cunningham (@Cunning_Jordan) October 29, 2019
LeBron James, who hosted Newsom when he signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, also tweeted out congratulatory remarks. James had been one of the key celebrity endorsers of the Fair Pay to Play Act when it was a bill in the state Senate.
Its a beautiful day for all college athletes going forward from this day on! Thank you guys for allowing me to bring more light to it. I’m so proud of the team at @uninterrupted bringing focus on this and to everyone who has been fighting this fight. Not a victory but a start! ??
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 29, 2019
“Its a beautiful day for all college athletes going forward from this day on,” James tweeted. “Thank you guys for allowing me to bring more light to it … Not a victory, but a start!”