BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - Pressure from states about college athletes cashing in on their fame may have forced the NCAA to make a shift Tuesday to a long-standing rule that doesn’t allow it.
We’re speaking with former Alabama standout Andrew Zow about what it could mean for the future of college athletics.
Some call it a big win for college athletes. The NCAA’s top decision-makers voted to allow college athletes to cash in on their name, image and likeness. The board is asking its three divisions to craft their own rules and to immediately begin figuring out how to implement the new guidelines.
"Our working group has been working for several months to present recommendations that help guide us in modernizing the rules and regulations that we have at NCAA and we’re excited about being able to do that,” Michael Drake, Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors said.
Endorsement deals have traditionally been limited because the NCAA wanted to preserve the amateur nature of college sports. Zow, who is now the head coach at Bessemer City High School, is cautiously optimistic about the change. He believes it should have happened years ago.
"I’m excited for the young men who get an opportunity to use their name and their likeness for their profit at some level,” Zow said.
Zow believes the program needs to be closely monitored so it doesn’t exploit student-athletes.
“The time of players. I think people will call on them more. You have companies that are going to come after them, more especially with high-profile quarterbacks like Tua, Jalen, Fromm. Some of these guys that are around, they are going to come after them and looking to exploit that. Will college players need agents now?” Zow said.
The board wants each division to implement new rules by January 2021. The NCAA says student athletes must not be treated like employees of their universities and that there should be a clear distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.