NCAA to Allow Student Athletes to be Paid for Image and Likeness


(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

This morning the NCAA Board of Governors unanimously voted to allow college athletes to be paid for their image and likeness. This decision comes after a long debate over whether college athletes should be compensated for the work they put in for their university. 

The decision comes on the heels of Bill 206 in California, which also allows student athletes to be compensated for their image and likeness. The bill was set to take effect in 2023, but will no longer be needed.

Before the NCAA voted, similar bills were on the floor in New York and Florida

As of right now, how it will be determined how student athletes will be paid is up to how each of the three divisions of NCAA athletics see fit. 

With this decision, the NCAA finally acknowledges that the college atmosphere is changing and that the institution of college sports should change as well. 

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael Drake, chair of the board for the NCAA, which governs major college athletics said to the NCAA.  

The NCAA hopes to have everything solidified by 2021 for players to start being able to be paid for their image and likeness. 


Positives for Athletes

Since the beginning of the NCAA, the organization has always been adamant about not paying players for their likeness and image. Athletes’ replica jerseys were sold in stores donning the top players number, and video games would use the athletes’ likeness to entertain fans. Not even as much as a dime would go to the athlete, all because they were forced to abide by NCAA regulations.

With the new changes to the rulings, athletes will be able to have some money from their likeness being used in these examples from above. Players with small families will be in a better position to afford a better lifestyle than before, and they will have a chance to gain a small portion of the funds that they had been robbed of in the past.

Players will not only be able to feel the rush of looking up in the stands to see fans donning their collegiate number on game day, but they will receive a small proceed of that money for the usage of their likeness. The players will also likely make returns on NCAA sports video games, autographed memorabilia and Topps player cards.


Positives for Fans

The NCAA Football and Basketball video games will more than likely hit the shelves once again, much to the excitement of sports fans across the nation. Many believed the NCAA sports games to be superior to Madden and other non-college-sports video games, and the public outcry for the game to make a return has reached unprecedented heights. 

Fans will also be able to purchase their favorite players’ replica jersey once again. Since the original lawsuit took place banning the usage of athletes likeness, fans have only been able to purchase replica jerseys with the current seasons year as the numbers. Some schools even did years of significance on the jerseys to change things up. With fans being able to buy official jerseys with players names and numbers, the black market for these items will no longer be needed. Fans will also be able to support as many players as they want by buying their official jerseys. 


Cons For Both Sides

Nothing absolutely awful and outrageous will happen after paying these players for their likeness. The only thing that would seem to frustrate people is that college athletes would now be able to charge for autographs, and memorabilia prices will skyrocket.

Coming from the athlete’s perspective, it’s understandable because they are trying to earn some extra money. Top athletes will be able to receive quite a lot of money, especially if they make it into the NFL. Now, fans will have to pay up if they want their favorite player’s autograph.

Currently in the NFL, proceeds from autographs will usually go to charity or other organizations that can use the money to benefit others. Players will also sign items for free before and after games and practices. 

So, will the autograph situation be a real issue? It shouldn’t. 

While the pros of fans being able to support their favorite player by rocking their jersey is there, the prices of those items are going to go up as well. Now schools and manufacturers will have to up their prices to make sure that not only they are making a profit, but the students will be making money as well.  


[email protected]



[email protected]