NCAA Will Allow Student Athletes to Get Paid

The Board of Governors voted unanimously to allow athletes to receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness.

The NCAA made a stunning development in the long-debated topic of whether or not student athletes should be allowed to make money. 

The NCAA Board of Governors officially voted Tuesday to allow student athletes to be compensated for their names and likenesses. The vote was unanimous and will affect all three NCAA divisions.

However, the vote didn’t come with specific policy changes — those divisions have now been instructed to create appropriate rules governing student-athlete compensation by 2021. 

“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,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board. 

The NCAA, which has reported annual revenues exceeding $1 billion, said in their statement that the rule change will follow certain guidelines including:

  • Assuring student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
  • Maintaining the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
  • Ensuring rules are transparent, focused, and enforceable, and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
  • Making clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.
  • Making clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
  • Reaffirming that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.

The NCAA’s decision comes after a California law passed in September 2019 that allowed student-athletes in the state to receive endorsement money or hire an agent. That law is set to go into place in 2023.

Many people are praising the NCAA’s policy change, applauding the new step toward paying college athletes.