Facing pressure from state governments and the Supreme Court, the NCAA moved within one step of allowing its athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness—beginning as soon as this week. The NCAA Division I Council, consisting of athletic directors and conference commissioners, recommended an interim policy Monday that the NCAA board of directors will vote on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports. That would just beat the deadline for some governments making the decision for the NCAA: Starting Thursday, at least six states will allow endorsement contracts for undergraduate athletes; 19 states have passed similar legislation that will take effect within two years. "I think it's a recognition that we have to adjust our business practices," said one former commissioner.
The result will transform the NCAA, per the New York Times, with millions of dollars going to students. Most athletes will collect little or nothing, but those with a chance at playing professionally after college could make hundreds of thousands before they're out of school. Female athletes especially could benefit; they often are popular with fans while on college teams but have fewer opportunities in professional sports. The athletes are planning for the offers they expect to receive Thursday. Marketing executives said that well-known players could charge $1,000 an hour for appearances—such as at a car dealership—and that fees could be tied to their online followings. Financial opportunities for athletes also will include social media posts, sponsorships, autographs, and training classes or private camps, per the Washington Post. (Read more NCAA stories.)