College athletes receiving compensation through endorsements could finally become a reality starting in 2021.

The NCAA governing body met on Wednesday and agreed to support the proposal that allows college athletes to sign endorsement contracts and receive payments for outside work with the condition that the university is not involved in any payments.

Imagine a car dealership paying Aaron Jones to sign autographs while he was still in school? Or, think about a restaurant paying women's basketball players individually to host a meet-and-greet. This might be the new normal within the next year.

However, the recommendations—not rules—will leave room for the NCAA and schools to regulate the different deals that the players can sign along with the monetary value of the individual contracts, per the NCAA. 

Some of the permissible endorsements for players include appearing in advertisements referencing the sport and school, while not allowing them to use school logos or branding.


“Throughout our efforts to enhance support for college athletes, the NCAA has relied upon considerable feedback from and the engagement of our members, including numerous student-athletes, from all three divisions,” said Michael V. Drake in a statement, chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory.”

Most want to cite the NBA growing its G-League developmental program as the reason the NCAA decided to recommend this proposal. While the timelines make sense for this argument, that is not the case. NCAA President Mark Emmert has been pressed by states like California, New York and Florida, who have supported "pay to play" bills that allow compensation for college athletes.


Now, Emmert and the board of governors will have to work with Congress to solidify the proposal within the next months. The next step is to formally vote on the proposal during the governor's meeting in October.

And the next question comes—assuming the proposal passes in the fall—how will colleges like UTEP and New Mexico State respond to this?

This should be an interesting few months to watch the proposal unfold and hear the responses from each conference.

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