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College athletes have spent nearly a decade in a legal battle with the NCAA and now their hard work has finally led to real legislative change. On Monday, the NCAA Division I Council recommended that the Division I board of directors established an interim policy to allow student athletes to benefit financially from the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). 

The NCAA board will meet on Wednesday to finalize the policy.  

With the policy change, the traditional meaning of amateurism that has been upheld by the NCAA will crumble and universities can no longer solely benefit from a student-athlete’s play. 

A number of states had already passed NIL laws that were due to go into effect July 1, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. According to CBS Sports reports, an additional 12 states have passed NIL legislation, with the laws scheduled to go into effect at a later date.   

According to the council, student-athletes should be allowed to “engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state” where their school is located. The recommendation also allows student-athletes who attend schools in states without NIL laws to “engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image, and likeness” in order to avoid giving schools with NIL laws a clear recruiting advantage.

The recommendation comes less than a week after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the NCAA in another case.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his opinion that “NCAA’s business model of using unpaid student athletes to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the colleges raises serious questions and would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America.”

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