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The NCAA has come to a unanimous decision to allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

The board has now directed the three levels of college sports to promptly begin figuring out how to update their rules in a way that maintains a difference between collegiate sports and professional sports.

According to Dan Murphy of ESPN the board members believe “all changes should make sure student-athletes have the same opportunities to make money as all other students, maintain a priority of the education and the collegiate experience, and that rules are “transparent, focused and enforceable” and do not create a competitive imbalance.” There’s goals to have each division to implement new rules by January 2021.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” board chair Michel Drake said. “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.”

Ohio State athletic Director Gene Smith and Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman proposed the change to NCAA”s current name, image and likeness rule during the boards last meeting of the calendar year. Both Smith and Ackerman have spearheaded and effort to address the issue over the last months.

This follows a law passed in California that allows student-athletes to profit of their image, name and likeness. That law will prohibit California schools from punishing their athletes for accepting endorsement money starting in January 2023. The subsequent move by the NCAA was anticipated because of the inherent advantage in recruiting California schools would have had in the recruiting circuit.

U.S. Congressman Mark Walker and California State Senator Nancy Skinner have both been on the legislative side applying pressure to the NCAA to make changes to is archaic rules on athletes profiting off themselves. Walker and Skinner both said they would be willing to modify their legislation or work with the NCAA to create new rules.

The board is set to hear proposals from all three divisions and vote on those proposals during their next meeting in April of 2020.

NCAA Unanimously Votes To Allow Athletes To Cash In On Their Likeness  was originally published on