J. Thomas McNamara

     Illinois football head coach Lovie Smith reacted, “I’m in favor for the players getting as much as they possibly can, all of us. It’s America, right? I’m in favor of everybody getting as much as they possibly can.”
     Smith was commenting after the NCAA Board of Governors took the first step Tuesday toward allowing amateur athletes to cash in on their fame, voting unanimously to permit them to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.”
     The NCAA and its member schools now must figure out how to allow athletes to profit while still maintaining rules regarding amateurism. The board asked each of the NCAA’s three divisions to create the necessary new rules beginning immediately and have them in place no later than January 2021.
     The United States’ largest governing body for college athletics realized that it “must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” the board said in a news release issued after the vote at Emory University in Atlanta.
     I will have more on this developing story and its potential effects of NCAA sports and amateur athletics in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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