The NCAA is embracing “change” and starting the process of allowing student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness, the organization announced Tuesday.
The group’s top governing board voted unanimously to allow college athletes to be compensated, though the NCAA’s three divisions must still craft their own rules and detail the specifics.
California became the first state to pass a law that would allow college athletes to get paid for endorsement deals and hire sports agents. Despite the NCAA’s latest decision, the organization said California’s law is still “likely unconstitutional” and is considering all potential next steps as states continue to address the subject of student-athlete pay. The law takes effect in 2023.
An NCAA working group will continue to solicit feedback through April and eventually refine recommendations on how to respond to the state and federal regulatory environment. Each of the three divisions must create new rules no later than Jan. 2021, the NCAA said.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said scholarship money received by college athletes who take endorsement money should be treated — and taxed — like income.
“If college athletes are going to make money off of their likeness while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income,” Burr said over Twitter. He said plans to introduce legislation that taxes scholarships for college athletes who choose to “cash in.”