Whether they’re labeled as college students, college athletes, or the oft-used student-athletes, they’re about to get paid.
After months of deliberation and several different pushes for reform, the NCAA Board of Governors has unanimously (and unexpectedly) passed a vote to push toward college athletes benefiting “from the use of their name, image and likeness,” per Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press.
All of this comes just a few weeks after NCAA president Mark Emmert spoke out against the California Fair Pay-to-Play Act, saying that he didn’t want the amateur athletes to turn into employees of their respective universities and that such a law could be seen as unconstitutional.
Based on the wording of the unanimous decision, Emmert’s decree will likely be followed closely. Among the bullet points in the NCAA release are as follows:
"Assure student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate."
Fans have taken to Twitter to celebrate the unexpected breaking news, and a lot of the buzz has actually revolved around a completely different industry: video games.
NCAA Football video games have been off the shelves since a disagreement with EA Sports regarding player licensing rights and their lack of compensation took place in 2014. Excited Twitter users are already posting mock game covers featuring Trevor Lawrence and other stars.
Those who are jumping at this news and claiming that a major change is coming to the NCAA may want to hold off on their excitement until it becomes more clear how much these students will actually benefit. One of those who is more pessimistic is ESPN’s Jay Bilas, who tweeted his thoughts on the ruling:
Nonetheless, the announcement shows that change is coming.