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NCAA to allow athletes to cash in on their fame

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ATLANTA (AP) — The NCAA Board of Governors has taken the first step toward allowing athletes to cash in on their fame. The board voted unanimously on Tuesday to clear the way for the amateur athletes to "benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness."

The vote came during a meeting at Emory University in Atlanta.

In a news release, board chair Michael V. Drake said the board realized that it "must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes."

The University of Wisconsin-Madison sent this statement on the vote: 

“Wisconsin supports the efforts of the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference to enhance support of student-athletes that is tethered to education. We look forward to working with the Conference and the NCAA as appropriate rules for the use of name, image and likeness are developed.”

Marquette Vice President & Director of Athletics Bill Scholl also weighed in on the decision:

“Today’s announcement regarding the ability for student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness is, as the working group referenced, a ‘natural extension of the numerous steps’ we have taken as an industry in recent years to continue to deepen our support of student-athletes. Although much work is left to be done, I am most appreciative of the call for urgency so that one solution can be developed within the framework of our association. Many details need to be worked out over the coming months, but this is a very positive development.”

The change in policy does not open the door for universities to pay student athletes like employees. It will likely have a much higher impact on high profile players.

“I personally believe this is really great for anybody who’s anybody as far as athletes go," Marquette track and field athlete Christian Peterson said. "They deserve to be able to make money off of their own name. I mean, I’m excited. Not that I’m going to be able to benefit from it.”

The NCAA has directed it's three divisions to start working on exact rules immediately. Those are expected to be in place by winter of 2021.


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