The NCAA Board of Governors on Tuesday voted unanimously to allow student-athletes to be paid for the use of their name, image and likeness once its three divisions decide on rules for such opportunities.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael Drake, chair of the board for the NCAA, which governs major college athletics.
New rules would allow players to sign endorsement deals and licensing contracts. The board asked each division to create rules beginning now and no later than January 2021.
The board’s action was based on recommendations from the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, which includes presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, administrators and student-athletes.
It comes after California passed a Fair Pay to Play Act, which would go into effect in 2023. Other states are looking at possible legislation.
NCAA officials said the working group will continue to get feedback on how to deal with state legislation and that will help guide future recommendations.
The NCAA said new rules should continue to make compensation for play impermissible and that athletes are not employees of the universities.
The NCAA has three divisions for athletics — Division I, Division II and Division III. Division I schools typically have larger enrollments and larger athletics programs.