The NCAA is making major changes in the coming years as they will allow athletes to profit from their name and likeness.
The top governing board of the NCAA voted unanimously to allow athletes to compensate for the use of their likeness. However the three NCAA divisions must craft their own rules and guidelines. The NCAA insists that there must be a “clear distinction between college and professional opportunities.” This means that student-athletes must be treated with a similar manner to any of the non-athlete students. The NCAA wants to make sure that even though the students are profiting of their name and likeness, they are not treated or act like employees of their university.
For years the NCAA has been criticized for their strong restrictions that prohibited student-athletes from profiting off their own image. Certain stars have the capacity to make a lot of money because collegiate sports is so popular. But until now they haven’t been able to make any money comparable to the amount of money those stars make the university. For example, Duke basketball star Zion Williamson, now a players for the New Orleans Pelicans, was never paid for his short career in the NCAA. But, Williamson was so popular in the collegiate sports that as soon as he declared for the NBA draft he received a shoe offer from Jordan Brand valued at 75 million dollars. Williamson had never played a single game in the NBA, yet the Jordan saw the popularity of his collegiate performance and decided that he was worth 75 million dollars.
The change comes after California passed a “Fair Pay to Play Act” that ensured that NCAA athletes would be paid for their likeness in the state of California. The bill brought the NCAA back into the spotlight and created a momentous pressure for the NCAA to expand what California had already passed into the entire United States.