Online Originals: NCAA to allow student-athletes to be paid in 2023


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- There’s no hiding from the monumental unanimous vote that occurred on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, that sent waves across the nation.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors announced that beginning in 2023 collegiate athletes will be allowed to get paid for their name, image, and likeness within their sport.

Their vote began the process to change current rules and regulations, effective immediately.

According to ESPN, the association’s Board of Governors gathered Tuesday morning in Atlanta for its final regularly scheduled meeting of 2019.

After the meeting, it was announced that the NCAA board will make changes to rules in each of their three divisions, as long as they attain to the following:

  • Assuring student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
  • Maintaining the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success. 
  • Ensuring rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.

This is put into effect immediately, however, rule changes will be made no later than the year 2021.

We must embrace change to provide the best experience for college athletes,

explained Michael Drake, NCAA Board of Governors Chair.

This has already proven to be a controversial topic over the years.

Governor Gavin Newsom, California
Picture via Twitter

How it started

Back in September of this year, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a ‘Pay to Play’ Act to allow collegiate athletes the ability to accept endorsement deals by the year 2023.

Pay to Play specifically makes it “illegal for California colleges to deny their student-athletes opportunities to hire agents or gain compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.”

California is not the only state pulling for change. Florida, Illinois, and New York all have proposed similar laws, while other states are planning to do so as well in the future.

At the moment, the Pay to Play Act, is the only law in effect across the United States that pertains to this matter.

Over the past few months, Newsom has forced a spotlight on the NCAA.

The pressure is on. With the passing of the act in California, the nation has turned all eyes on the NCAA, asking why this is not in effect for ALL student-athletes across the country.

Why it matters

This goes against the long, controversial list of NCAA rules that ban student-athletes from accepting any form of money outside of what is provided by the university. Failure to do so can result in playing suspensions, and in some cases, dismissal from teams.

According to Sports Illustrated, there are limitations to the Act, including “that athletes lose the Act’s protections should they sign endorsement deals which conflict with school sponsorships or if they hire agents who aren’t licensed by the state.”

They also state that the Act “should not be confused or conflated with legal efforts to require colleges to pay their athletes—the Act is about contractual relationships between college athletes and companies that wish to use the players’ names, images and likenesses.”

Who is effected

This major change will affect both collegiate athletes and the powerhouse, NCAA.

The Act will allow student-athletes to earn a portion of money from their own efforts on the field, court, ice, etc, that others have been benefiting from since day one of the NCAA birth.

According to a CBS report, the NCAA’s yearly revenue tallied in at a beaming $18 billion, while scholarship athletes estimated an average of $18k per year.

Based off of the 2023 estimate from the Pay to Play Act, the average collegiate football player could earn up to $160k a year for their image and likeness.

“Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education,” board chair Michel Drake said, “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.”

In conclusion, the only student-athletes who will benefit for sure at the moment are ones in California. However, more changes are set to be made by the NCAA by 2021.

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