After pressure from stakeholders and politicians on the issue, the NCAA announced today that they will indeed allow athletes to profit off their name and likeness.

NCAA and Student-Athletes

The debate on this issue has been going on for quite some time, and the state of California has even taken a stand with the Fair Pay to Play Act. Last night, we seemed to get close to an answer from the NCAA after ESPN reported that its top decision-makers would meet in Atlanta to discuss the matter.

And today we received an answer, as the NCAA unanimously voted to allow student-athletes to profit off their name and likeness “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.” The NCAA board said in a release today that they have now directed their three divisions to immediately change its bylaws and policies for the present day.

The NCAA board wants the changes to be made to allow student-athletes to have the same opportunities to make money as non student-athletes, and to maintain that education is still a top priority. In addition, the NCAA maintained that college athletes will not be permitted to receive compensation for their athletic performance.

Michael Drake, Ohio State’s president, said the NCAA must evolve with the times and embrace new policies. “We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes. 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.”

This is major news not just for the college athletes, but for fans of college sports. Specifically, fans of the NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball franchises, as many people on social media have now noted that its return may actually be coming soon:

This move clearly opens up the opportunity to bring back these franchises. However, they won’t come back for at least the next few years, as the NCAA asked its divisions to implement new rules by January 2021. Still, we definitely are much closer to the return of NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball.

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