The NCAA is moving forward with a plan to allow college athletes to earn money for endorsements and other activities involving personal appearances and social media.
The NCAA Board of Governors announced Wednesday that it supports giving athletes the ability to cash in on their names, images and likenesses as never before and without involvement from the association, schools or conferences.
Board Chairman Michael Drake called it an "unprecedented" move by the NCAA.
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The next step is for membership to draft legislation by October 30. Schools will take a formal vote at the next convention in January and new rules will go into effect no later than the 2021-22 academic year.
"NCAA membership schools have embraced very real change," NCAA President Mark Emmert said.
The nation's largest governing body for college sports said it will still seek a federal law to keep individual states from passing their owns laws on compensation for college athletes. NCAA leaders have already been engaged with federal lawmakers.
"It's clear we need Congress' help in all of this," Emmert said.
The board on Monday and Tuesday reviewed detailed recommendations put forth by a working group led by Ohio State University Athletic Director Gene Smith and Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman. The recommendations open the door for athletes to make money on autograph signings, memorabilia sales and endorsement deals with companies large and small.
College athletes can't use their school's logo in sponsorship deals, but they can hire an agent for making deals.
Elite college athletes, particularly in football and basketball, couldannually during their school years, sports branding experts have said.
Smith said there will be "guardrails" to ensure athletes are compensated at an appropriate rate and there will be consequences for athletes who don't meet disclosure requirements.
Payments to athletes will not be permitted to be used while recruiting high school athletes.
The need for change was sped up by pressure from state lawmakers.legislation that makes it illegal for NCAA schools to prohibit college athletes from making money on endorsements, social media advertising and other activities tied to name, image and likeness.
Dozens of states have followed California's lead, some more aggressively than others. California's law does not go into effect until 2023 while a Florida bill awaiting the governor's signature would go into effect July 2021.