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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 01: Fresno State Basketball players Haley Cavinder (L) and Hanna Cavinder announce endorsements with Boost Mobile via Icon Source on July 01, 2021 in New York City. Their announcement comes following a decision by the NCAA to allow collegiate athletes to earn income based on their name, image and likeness (NIL). (Photo : John Lamparski/Getty Images)
The students’ pleas have finally been heard. In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, the NCAA’s board of directors has decided to officially suspend its rules prohibiting its student-athletes from selling the rights to their names, images, and likeness.
NCAA implements major rule change
NCAA president Mark Emmert heralded the decision in a statement, saying, “This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities. With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment, both legal and legislative, prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”
The NCAA had no choice but to make this decision as laws were set to take effect in more than a dozen states, making it illegal for schools to prohibit athletes from making money.
While students can now profit from their names, images and likeness, NCAA made it clear that it is still illegal for schools to pay their players directly, either as a form of reward for their athletic achievements or using the money for recruitment purposes.
The new rules that NCAA put in place will now allow athletes to gain some profits by signing autographs, making money off their social media accounts, starting their respective businesses, and participating in advertisements. More importantly, athletes will now be allowed to sign with agents or other representatives to help them pursue endorsement contracts.
Student-athletes cash in immediately
That has been the case in the past 24 hours, with athletes already cashing in on their fame after the rule changes. Hanna and Haley Cavinder, twin sisters who play for Fresno State’s basketball team, immediately flew to New York to sign an endorsement contract with Boost Mobile, a wireless telecommunications company. The Cavinders, who have 3.3 million followers on their joint Tiktok account, also landed a deal with Six Star Pro Nutrition, a supplements company.
LSU offensive lineman Marcus Dumervil also cashed in on Thursday, agreeing on deals with Jenloop, a company that offers fans the opportunity to get personalized videos over Instagram or Twitter from athletes or celebrities for a certain fee, and Tomahawk Shades, a sunglasses company.
Another college football star, Miami quarterback D’Eriq King also made some money on Thursday, agreeing to business contracts with several entities that paid him more than $20,000. King can now profit on Dreamfield, a public appearance business he co-founded with Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton.
Nebraska volleyball player Lexi Sun, who has more than 75,000 Instagram followers, is partnering with REN Athletics, a volleyball apparel company, to design her own crew neck sweatshirt. REN Athletics has big plans for Sun, who is developing her own athletic line with the company.
Many are expecting Olivia Dunne to land a megadeal soon as well, with the LSU gymnast being the most-followed college athlete on Instagram and TikTok, with more than five million followers on those social media platforms.
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