The NCAA adopted an interim policy that will allow college athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, ahead of legislation going into effect in several states which would allow for such compensation.
“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”
The expected approval from the NCAA Board of Directors came a few days after a recommendation from the Division I Council to allow athletes in every state to pursue compensation for their name, image and likeness without jeopardizing their college eligibility.
The NCAA’s decision to suspend restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.
While I acknowledge that this will change college athletics forever, it is just Unamerican to not allow adults to engage in a legal commercial exchange. For the vast majority of college athletes, there is no financial future for them in sport. A few will make a professional league, but even that is limited to a handful of sports that have professional leagues. And, let’s be real, this only impacts the best of the best in any sport.
But I just don’t have a philosophical problem with a star tennis player getting paid to do ads for the local car dealership or get a slice of the pie when the school profits off selling something with their face on it.