Pay to Play: NCAA approves payment for student athletes

Photo courtesy of USA Today

With pressure growing from state politicians, the seemingly impossible happened Tuesday at Atlanta when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) lifted restrictions on athletes that for decades has kept them from profiting monetarily for their performance.

While a plan still has to be worked out, many rejoice over players finally being able to share a piece of the pie. NCAA Board Members have asked for rules no later than January 2021. Michael V. Drake, NCAA board chair and president of The Ohio State University, made a statement on behalf of the Board of Governors.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” Drake said during the meeting at Emory University. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”

The announcement comes off the hills of California allowing players at public and private schools to sign athletic shoe deals, sports drink endorsements and more.

The legislation sets up what would’ve been a battle between the NCAA and other states who’ve begun writing similar laws. Realistically, there was little chance the NCAA would ban schools from California and other states. The fight is now over. Now we wait to see how these rules will work.

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