This is only the beginning.
The NCAA announced Wednesday morning that its board of governors supports rule changes that would allow student-athletes to profit off their names, images and likenesses. This legislation would not allow universities to compensate athletes directly, but would allow for athletes to earn money from third-party sources such as event appearances, autograph signings and advertisements.
Speaking with the Clarion Ledger just an hour after the NCAA's announcement on Wednesday, Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter praised the move as a positive step. Carter said he estimates that this announcement, however, only brings the NCAA about 25% of the way toward student-athletes actually receiving name, image and likeness compensation.
Simply put, supporting a rule change is different than having legislation in place. As of the end of February, 26 states had introduced bills that would allow for college athletes to profit off name, image and likeness, including SEC states Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina. A national bill has yet to be introduced though, making it more difficult to standardize what would be permissible across the country.