NCAA to Allow College Athletes to Profit From Their Name, Image and Likeness

The NCAA just made a big decision that will change the landscape of college sports forever. On Tuesday, the organization voted in Atlanta to "clear the way for the amateur athletes to 'benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness,'" according to the Associated Press. In a press release, Michael V. Drake who is the NCAA board chair said the NCAA has to change with the times.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” Drake said in a statement via CNBC. “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.”

This comes on the heels of California and other states placing a law that states college athletes can make money from endorsements. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023 and he predicted more states will follow his path.

“It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation,” Newsom said on the Uninterrupted talk show The Shop according to the Los Angeles Times. “And it’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest finally of the athletes on par with the interests of the institution. Now we are rebalancing that power.”

The one big thing to take from this is the possible return of the NCAA video games produced by EA Sports. Last week, Electronic Arts Inc. Chief Executive Andrew Wilson was asked if he could see the return of NCAA Football back in the video game mix.

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“I think there are many, many -- maybe even millions -- of players who hope that’s the case,” he said in an email to the Wall Street Journal.

EA Sports stopped producing the NCAA Football in 2013 because there were lawsuits going on with former athletes against the organization for not being paid for the likeliness in things like video games. Now that NCAA has made the ruling where athletes can profit from the name, image and likeness, we could see not only video games returning, but we could see these athletes in commercials, billboards and a number of places where they can make money.