The NCAA's board of governors announced Wednesday it supports changes that would allow student-athletes to profit from third-party endorsements and "be compensated for their name, image, and likeness."
All three collegiate sports divisions are to consider these changes, and each division must approve the alterations before they're implemented. If approved, new rules are expected to take effect by the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
The board's decision is the next step in a major change across the college sports landscape. The board of governors voted in October to propose policy changes across the divisions that would let student-athletes receive compensation for endorsements and promotions, and it was reported Tuesday that a study group working on these brand plans would suggest certain policies move forward.
Under the new system, student-athletes would be allowed to identify themselves by sport or school, but the use of conference or school logos and trademarks would not be permitted. The NCAA reiterated that schools would not be allowed to pay athletes and that there would be limitations on potential compensation.
"There's been an emphasis on maintaining the non-employee status of our student-athletes," NCAA president Mark Emmert said during a Wednesday conference call, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post. "Everything about our recommendations made clear that distinction needs to be maintained."
Emmert also discussed potential legal challenges to the proposed new guidelines from outside entities and said he will engage the U.S. Congress throughout the process as a result.
"As the legal and legislative landscape around college sports continues to evolve, we also see the challenges that are around us to positively affect change," Emmert said, according to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander. "It's clear we need Congress' help in all of this."
The NCAA has maintained strict rules against endorsements for several decades, and violations can lead to loss of eligibility.