The National Collegiate Athletic Association will now allow athletes to profit off their likeness starting Thursday. After court battles and several controversies involving players and coaches being stripped of their NCAA accomplishments for violating the rules, the announcement marks a seismic shift in the way college athletes will be able to market and support themselves. “This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert.
The NCAA will still prohibit universities from paying athletes directly and some restrictions still may vary by state. Congressional lawmakers have been at a standstill in their efforts to reform the NCAA, with some proposing ways to allow players to generate profit along with providing enhanced medical benefits and educational opportunities. Some athletes are expected to announce sponsor deals immediately, ESPN reports.