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October 29, 2019

The players may finally get paid, though there's still a ways to go.

The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to allow college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness, dependent on certain guidelines. The changes could reportedly take effect immediately so long as everyone adheres to principles, such as: student-athletes largely must be treated similarly to non-athlete students, education must remain a priority, rules should be "transparent, focused, and enforceable" while facilitating "fair and balanced competition," and there must be no compensation for athlete performance. In other words, the money won't be coming directly from the schools, but if all goes according to plan there presumably won't be as much drama over players selling autographs or picking up an endorsement.

A special committee will continue to gather feedback through April 2020, and it has asked all three divisions of the NCAA to make rule changes no later than 2021. "We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes," board chair Michael Drake said.

Not everyone is buying the NCAA's rhetoric, though, and the perception that the NCAA is doing this for appearances while secretly preventing any real change certainly exists. That's not to mention the fact that plenty of questions remain as to how the changes will eventually be implemented. Still, others are expressing cautious optimism.

The vote was likely set in motion by California passing a law prohibiting state schools from punishing athletes for accepting endorsement money starting in 2023, which sparked the interest of several states wanting to follow suit. Read more at ESPN and USA Today. Tim O'Donnell

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