You might start seeing the image or likeness of some topflight college athletes on your cereal boxes, or other items, according to the NCAA.
The NCAA Board that governs college athletes and regulates the amount of money students participating can earn while playing, reaffirmed its commitment April 27 to "modernizing" polices concerning using player names, images, or likenesses to make money.
"The NCAA and its members remain committed to providing a path for student-athletes to benefit from name, image and likeness opportunities," the NCAA Board of Governors said in a statement following its quarterly meeting. "As we have previously noted, we recognize the importance of taking swift, appropriate action to modernize our rules. We also must collaborate with Congress to create a legal and legislative framework at the federal level to support name, image, and likeness within the context of higher education.
"With several state laws taking effect this summer, we will continue efforts to adopt expanded name, image and likeness opportunities as soon as advisable."
The announcement comes as several states including Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico all passed laws allowing college students to earn money while playing, The Hill reported.
NCAA President Mark Emmert he is talking to colleges about putting new rules in place before July 1 so athletes can get endorsement deals and get paid for using their names, images, and likenesses by Aug. 1, according to the report.
"We need to get a vote on these rules that are in front of the members now," Emmert told The Hill.
New rules could have been adopted as early as January, Emmert said in the article, but the association had to talk with the Justice Department regarding ant-trust concerns raised during the past administration, he said.
The issue of college athletes seeing financial compensation of any kind while playing has raged for decades.
Until recently, the NCAA has staunchly opposed any commercial opportunities for athletes fearing it could damage the integrity of the various sports involved.
The non-profit association represents almost 1,100 colleges and universities with 102 athletic conferences in three separate divisions, according to the organization.
It oversees 24 different sports and a total of 90 championships annually, raising billions annually through television and marketing rights fees primarily through its annual NCAA basketball championship tournament, known as March Madness.
That revenue, according to the organization, helps supply some $3.5 billion in athletic scholarships to more than 180,000 student athletes as well as another $100 million each year to help students' academic pursuits, the organization said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate held hearings on compensating athletes.
In February, senators were pushing the association to change its rules for compensating athletes, The Hill reported.
"I think that the present state of college sports is exploited," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said at the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection hearing held in February.
Emmert told the senators at the hearing, it was moving as fast as it could for the organization to deliberate the issue.
"The answers aren't cut and dry, but I believe the members, the schools themselves, are looking at this as aggressively as they can under the current circumstances," Emmert said at the hearing. "There certainly is a possibility that some state legislators could pass legislation that could go into effect over the course of the summer."
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