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While the NCAA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow college athletes to profit from their name and likeness, the consequences of the decision for student-athletes at Ivy League schools remain unclear.

The NCAA announcement allows each division to independently decide whether participating students can make profit off of their athletic careers in college. An Ivy League press release stated that the Ancient Eight conference will seek measures to keep the spirit of education alive in their athletic contests.

“The Ivy League [and] Yale University will continue to be an engaged and proactive voice in the ongoing national conversation surrounding the name, image and likeness of student-athletes,” stated an Ivy League press release published earlier this week.

The NCAA’s decision reverses years of pushback from the association that distinguished college athletes from their professional counterparts and argued that students shouldn’t be allowed to profit from their sports careers. The change comes in light of recent efforts by legislators to regulate college athletics. Earlier this year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which will allow college athletes to profit from their name and likeness beginning in 2023.

The decision made by the Division I committee will likely clash with the current Ivy League Agreement. Members of the Ancient Eight conference have academic standards for student-athletes that prohibits schools from offering athletic scholarships for recruitment. The Board of Governors urged divisions to consider instituting new rules immediately and implement changes by no later than January 2021.

“For the NCAA to rule that student-athletes will now be able to profit off of their name, image and likeness is a major step in the right direction for providing equitable opportunities to student-athletes,” said Vincent Vaughns ’20, who is a sprinter for Yale’s track and field team. “The NCAA still has to determine the details about how compensation will occur and what restrictions will be in place, so it is difficult to say what effect this will have on Yale and the Ivy League specifically.”

The fact that Yale men’s heavyweight crew team participates in non-NCAA competitions makes the consequences of the recent decision even more unclear. The heavyweights compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, which has yet to address the subject of athletes profiting from their name and likeness.

The issue of college athletes profiting from their name, image and likeness has received strong support from both sides of the aisle. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Connecticut’s Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy have both been longtime advocates for changing the NCAA state of affairs regarding student-athletes’ compensation.

The NFL player union announced on Monday that it will help college athletes in all sports explore marketing and licensing opportunities using their name and likeness.

The NCAA has more than 1,200 member schools and oversees more than 460,000 student-athletes.

Eugenio Garza Garcia | eugenio.garzagarcia@yale.edu