The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Tuesday that it will soon allow student-athletes to profit off of their names, likenesses, and images, upending a long-observed practice of forbidding it.
The changes echoes a California law passed last month allowing college athletes in the state to profit from their fame.
Citing the need for “additional flexibility” regarding student-athlete compensation, NCAA Board of Governors chairman Michael Drake said the organization must “embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.”
Two years ago Drake had defended the non-payment system then in place.
A press release by the organization stressed the need to ensure schools continue putting student-athletes’ academics first and that no school be permitted to offer inducements to coax athletes from one team to another.