NCAA announces it will allow student-athletes to benefit off image and likeness
The NCAA continues to take steps toward increasing student-athlete benefits.
The Board of Governors has voted unanimously to allow students participating in athletics to earn benefits for the use of their name, image and likeness. They have directed the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updates to bylaws and policies for the 21st century.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Ohio State president Michael Drake, the chair of the board, in a statement. “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 is looking for assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students and ensure the updated rules are transparent and focused, among other variables that will have to be considered before anything goes into effect.
“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,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”
One potential area that could be affected by this is the video game industry. EA Sports hasn’t made an edition of its popular NCAA Football franchise since 2013, due to this reason. If student-athletes begin to receive these benefits, it could mark the return of the video game series in the future.
There will surely be more updates as the NCAA continues this process. Feedback will continue to be gathered through April, and the board asked divisions to create new rules beginning immediately, but no later than January 2021.