The National Collegiate Athletic Association (N.C.A.A.) Board of Governors announced that it would support rule changes allowing athletes to earn money from the use of their names, images and likenesses with some restrictions, the most significant being that students would not be permitted to be paid directly by universities.
The N.C.A.A. plans to ask Congress to support the position of universities that athletes should not be treated as school employees. Additionally, to distinguish between athletes and employees, athletes would not be able to use a school or conference logo to publicize their affiliation.
The board’s recommendations will be forwarded to the three N.C.A.A. divisions that govern the levels of competition in college sports. They are expected by January to adopt rules that would take effect at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
The N.C.A.A. had been under increasing pressure from the public to allow athletes to capitalize on the use of their unique abilities. Other university students who don’t play sports, such as actors, musicians, journalists and others, are able to cash in if they have exceptional talents.
The new N.C.A.A. plan would let athletes make deals as social media influencers, appear in commercials and hold paid autograph sessions, among other opportunities.