NCAA Takes Major Step Toward Allowing Student-Athletes To Be Paid For Their Name, Image And Likeness

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It may finally be happening, NCAA student-athletes could be allowed to make money off of their own name, image, and likeness as early as the start of the 2021-22 academic year. All it took was a global pandemic and a decade-plus of pushback by the majority of the entire human population, but here we are.

The NCAA announced on Wednesday that at it’s meeting earlier in the week, the Board of Governors supported rule changes to allow student-athletes to receive compensation for “third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics.” The Board of Governors also expressed its support for other opportunities for student-athletes like social media, businesses they’ve started themselves, and ‘personal appearances.’

While universities themselves would not be paying student-athletes (legally), the athletes would be permitted to identify themselves by the sport they play and the school, per the announcement.

One way to interpret this news is that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence could go and create a YouTube channel, for example, and make some money from it and not get in trouble with the NCAA which has not been the case in the past. A YouTube channel would, in my opinion, fall into the ‘social media’ and ‘business’ category the Board of Governors stated that it supports.

Student-athletes wouldn’t be allowed to use school or NCAA logos, or “other involvement.” Plus, other specific rules will be put in place.

The board is requiring guardrails around any future name, image and likeness activities. These would include no name, image and likeness activities that would be considered pay for play; no school or conference involvement; no use of name, image and likeness for recruiting by schools or boosters; and the regulation of agents and advisors.

As for the next step in this saga, the NCAA states that these recommendations from the Board of Governors now moves to the “rules-making structure” in each of the three NCAA divisions for further consideration. Division I, II, III universities will have to support this new change, but the NCAA states that it expects the name, image, and likeness rules to be adopted by January and that they should take effect come the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

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