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NCAA votes to move forward with student-athlete profitability policy, Duke expresses support

Duke is likely to embrace changes to the NCAA's name, image and likeness policy.
Duke is likely to embrace changes to the NCAA's name, image and likeness policy.

Just a few weeks after the California Senate passed the "Fair Pay to Play" act that would permit college athletes profiting off their name, image and likeness while still in school, the NCAA has finally responded to the growing support for compensating student-athletes.

The NCAA's Board of Governors announced Tuesday afternoon that it will move forward with allowing college athletes to use their name, image and likeness as a way to receive compensation. 

And though the change may seem radical, Duke's athletic department seems to be behind the potential new regulations.

“Today’s news demonstrates progress towards impactful reform," Kevin White, Duke's athletic director, said in an email to The Chronicle. "To be sure, we look forward to contributing to the discussion on the Division I level.”

The most prominent figure in Duke athletics, men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, voiced support for the "Fair Pay to Play" act during Oct. 8's ACC media day in Charlotte, though he declined to comment on the NCAA's ruling Tuesday.

“The Fair Pay to Play Act that was recently signed into law in California will likely lead to far-reaching change," Krzyzewski said. "We’ve already seen similar bills introduced in several states. I don’t—and won’t—pretend to understand all the complexities of such a change. However, it is a sign of the times that we in college athletics must continually adapt, albeit in a sensible manner.

"While we have made significant progress in recent years, we have not always responded to the needs and rights of our players swiftly, and frankly, we’re playing catchup after years of stagnant rules. I hope and trust that not only will there be a plan to put the student athletes’ best interests at the forefront, but that we’ll also have a firm plan for implementation at the national level. College athletics provides an amazing option for hundreds of thousands of talented men and women who choose to attend institutions across the country. We must adapt to ensure it stays that way.”

Despite Duke and other institutions' support for the name, image and likeness reform, not all prominent North Carolinians took Tuesday's news as a positive. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr announced in a tweet that he planned to pen laws that would tax scholarships received by NCAA athletes as income.

The NCAA did not release specific details on what the new name, image and likeness rules would be, though the Board of Governors calls upon each NCAA division to "create any new rules beginning immediately, but no later than January 2021."