WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Student-athletes will be able to make money from endorsements, the NCAA announced Wednesday.
“They said this would never happen,” Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) said.
Congressman Walker is welcoming news of the NCAA now supporting some student-athlete compensation.
“To see them come this far after decades of saying this was not gonna happen – listen, it’s a consolation win,” he said.
The NCAA Board of Governors announced Wednesday it will support rule changes allowing student-athletes to receive compensation from third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics.
“The action was started by the considerable feedback and engagement of our members including numerous student-athletes from all three divisions,” Michael Drake, Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors said.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for the change for over a year. But Walker says Congress still needs to pass legislation to make sure the NCAA keeps its promise.
“That’s why the legislation is so important to be as a backstop,” Walker said.
Walker teamed up with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) on the Student-Athlete Equity Act.
The legislation would require the NCAA to allow student-athletes compensation. It’s just one of three similar bills currently on Capitol Hill.
But with the House out of session because of the coronavirus pandemic, passing the legislation right now is unlikely.
“But it has to be done this year,” Walker added.
The NCAA says it already plans to implement the changes on its own by January 2021.