The NCAA is scheduled to make a historic vote later today that could change the entire structure of college sports as we know it. The vote would give certain schools more autonomy to actually pay their players something for playing sports.
NPR reported that the NCAA’s Board of Directors is set to vote on whether or not to allow Division 1 leagues including the Pac-12, the Big 12, the Big Ten, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference the right to provide “enhanced benefits” to their student-athletes. The vote won’t just be a simple up or down situation. The Board will make their vote and the schools will have 60 days to vote on the measure. If at least 75 of those schools disagree with the measure, the board can present a different plan for another 60-day vote. If 125 of the schools disapprove of the plan, the measure is dead.
If this vote goes through, it could finally net athletes some kind of compensation for putting their bodies on the line in the name of their scholarships that don’t always cover the entire cost of going to college. It could also open the door for improved access to better health care for injured players and even allow players to have agents. However, the chances of it happening are not very good. The last time the NCAA tried to vote on a compensation measure, it failed and that only included an optional $2,000 annual stipend.
Even if the measure fails, this is still a small bit of good news. It’s clear that the NCAA’s stubbornness is being slowly chipped away as the public outcry again their greedy system of raking in bucks on the backs of unpaid athletes.