Khator, NCAA votes to allow athletes to profit off name, likeness
The NCAA Board of Governors, made up of officials from universities around the country, including President Renu Khator, reversed its stance on student athletes profiting from their name, likeness and image after a unanimous vote, the organization announced Tuesday afternoon.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, chairman of the board and president of Ohio State University. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education.”
The board directed each division to implement the new rules by January 2021.
The decision came after several states, including Florida, New York and California, pushed bills aiming to prevent the NCAA from blocking student athletes from financial compensation.
After California Senate Bill 206, better known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, passed in the state’s legislature, the board, including Khator, urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to not sign the bill into law.
“If the bill becomes law and California’s 58 NCAA schools are compelled to allow an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme,” the NCAA said, “it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions”
Newsom has since signed the bill, and it is slated to take effect in 2023.
“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,” Drake said in the statement announcing the NCAA’s decision, “including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”
The decision has garnered praise from UH athletes, including senior punter Dane Roy on Twitter.
“I endorse this message,” he tweeted with a laughing emoji.
In a detailed plan laid out by the organization in the statement, NCAA promised to “Reaffirm that student athletes are students first and not employees of the university,” and “Make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.”
The NCAA was advised by several NCAA federal and state legislature working groups, which included university presidents, current and former student athletes and athletic directors.
NCAA president Mark Emmert is hopeful the decision made by the organization will improve student athletes’ success.
“As a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student athletes,” Emmert said. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”