A decision made on Oct. 29 by the NCAA will allow student athletes to earn compensation based off the use of their likeness. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The NCAA opened the way for athletes at BYU and throughout the country to receive some forms of compensation following an NCAA decision on Oct. 29 in Atlanta. 

The change will allow any NCAA athlete to be endorsed for use of the athlete’s name, image or likeness, an action previously prohibited by NCAA regulation. 

Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors Michael V. Drake said the change is designed to help athletes have the best possible experience.

“This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships,” Drake said in a press release.

The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously in favor of the rule change and advised each division to begin making rules to comply with the decision immediately, stating January 2021 as the deadline. 

The NCAA also issued a framework of guidelines to direct new rulemaking. The framework reaffirms that athletes cannot be paid for their athletic participation, must be considered students rather than university employees and must be treated similarly to non-athletes students “unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the new decision is consistent with the NCAA’s role in ensuring a level playing field for student-athletes.

“The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals,” Emmert said in a press release. 

The change will affect BYU’s 21 NCAA varsity teams and hundreds of student-athletes.

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