The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously to direct the association’s three divisions to“modernize” their rules and allow athletes to enter into contracts with corporations and other parties to receive compensation for their personal brand or celebrity.
The association made clear that any changes must be “consistent with the collegiate model” and ensure college athletes do not become employees of the university.
The decision came after months of pressure on the NCAA from state and federal legislators. The biggest push came from California in late September, when Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay for Play Act into law.
The NCAA is acting fast, threatened by legislation that seeks to do away with all rules for athlete compensation that would destroy its business model and subject the association to antitrust and labor laws, ESPN reported.
Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina said if the NCAA allows college athletes to be paid through sponsorships, he would introduce a bill that would subject athletes’ scholarships to income taxes and would apply to athletes who decide to participate in third-party compensation.
The Federal and State Legislation Working Group delivered its recommendations to the Board of Governors which include eight principles for division leadership to follow as changes are drafted. The work will continue through April 2020.