University of Maryland athletic director Damon Evans came out in support of student-athletes being able to profit off their names, images and likenesses, the student newspaper The Diamondback reported.
Evans said at a general body meeting of Maryland’s student government association that he believes NCAA athletes ought to be allowed to make money off things such as endorsements or signing autographs, but not from a “pay-for-play” model in which athletes are paid just for their participation on a team.
“I believe that the opportunity to attend a first-rate institution like the University of Maryland and to earn a degree, and earning the power of that degree over a lifetime, is exceptional,” Evans said. “But I do believe this, that a student-athlete should have the right to utilize his or her name, image or likeness and be fairly compensated for it.”
This comes a few weeks after the NCAA board of governors voted to allow athletes to make money off name, image and likeness rights for the first time. The governing body does not have rules in place yet, but those rules are supposed to be in place no later than January 2021, according to a notice from the NCAA.
This appeared to come in response to California passing the Fair Pay to Play Act in September, a bill that would allow college athletes in the state to profit from name, image and likeness rights.
Not many collegiate coaches and athletic directors favor these developments, but Evans can be counted as one of the few to publicly state their support so far.
“The role of intercollegiate athletics is changing,” Evans said. “It is a new day and age. We have to be adaptable, and we have to listen to the student-athletes and we have to stop trying to hold them back.”
• Adam Zielonka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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