NCAA Votes to Permit College Athletes to Make Money
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has taken the first step toward permitting college athletes to make money from their "name, image and likeness."
The NCAA Board of Governors voted on the issue Tuesday during a meeting at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
The United States' largest governing body for college sports said it understands that it "must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes."
NCAA rules have long barred players from employing agents. It has also generally refused to let schools pay players.
The board has asked each of the NCAA's three divisions to begin creating new rules that protect amateurism and permit players to make money. The divisions must establish the new rules by January 2021.
Board chair Michael V. Drake said in a statement Tuesday, "The board is emphasizing that change must be consistent with the values of college sports and higher education and not turn student-athletes into employees of institutions."
Late last month, California passed a law permitting college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsement deals. The law protects athletes who sign such deals from dismissal by their team.
The California law is set to take effect in 2023. Other states are moving on similar legislation that could go into effect as soon as 2020.
The NCAA has 1,100 member schools and almost 500,000 athletes. It has refused to pay players in most cases. But it has permitted some exceptions. Olympians, for example, can accept winnings they receive from earning medals. And major athletic conferences have been able to give players wages of between $2,000 and $4,000 a year.
The NCAA reported $1.1 billion in earnings in 2017.
I'm Ashley Thompson.