NCAA votes to allow athletes to profit from name, image and likeness

October 29, 2019
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Changes are coming to the NCAA landscape. The NCAA Board of Governors met on Tuesday and voted unanimously for amateur athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.” The vote came during a meeting at Emory University in Atlanta.

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

The board tasked the NCAA’s three divisions of college sports — Division I, II and III — to figure out a way to update its rules while also keeping an obvious distinction from college and pro sports, and to make sure they are “transparent, focused and enforceable.” The board said it wants all divisions to implement the new rules by January 2021.

While college golf teams and players have a smaller profile than revenue-generating monsters like college football and college basketball, there likely will still be opportunities for college golfers to take advantage of the significant change in the college landscape.

This move comes roughly a month after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the Fair Pay to Play Act — scheduled to take effect in 2023 — which would allow college athletes in the state to hire agents and land money for endorsement deals. The act also gained momentum in other states.