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WSU responds to NCAA vote allowing players to profit from likeness

There’s still a lot for the powers that be to hash out... But the general consensus around the Washington State athletic department (except for Mike Leach) is that this is a step in the right direction.

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NCAA LACROSSE: MAY 19 NCAA Lacrosse Championships Quarterfinals - Loyola v Penn State Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was a landmark decision by the NCAA... But there’s still plenty to be decided.

On Tuesday, the NCAA announced that they have voted to begin the process of allowing of changing their rules to allow student-athletes to profit from the names and likeness, “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

In short, the vote doesn’t actually change anything right now. The decision allows the three NCAA divisions to begin working on a set of rules that the organization hopes will be in place by 2021.

It’s still not clear what the new rules will look like or exactly what they will mean for student-athletes, but most people agree it’s a step in the right direction... Unless you’re Mike Leach.

“It sounds like it could open the door for teams to buy players,” Leach told Theo Lawson of the Spokesman Review via text message. “If it does, that will destroy college football as we know it.”

Of course, Leach’s feelings o the topic of paying players has been well covered. Last month, he made headlines by saying California should focus on “keeping their streets clean” instead of their Fair Pay for Play Act. His feelings haven’t changed now that the NCAA has seemingly used that bill to guide their own policy.

But elsewhere in the WSU Athletic Department, the reaction has been positive. Earlier today, the department sent out a general statement praising the NCAA for their unanimous vote.

In his piece for the Spokesman Review, Lawson also recounted a quote from WSU basketball head coach Kyle Smith, who was also a fan of the direction the NCAA seems to be heading.

“I’m a free-market capitalist, man,” Smith said. “I think if you can earn that, if someone else wants to pay you to represent their thing or their image, then it’s your image and I think you should be able to get paid for that.”

No matter what you think about the direction the NCAA is headed, you’ll have some time to adjust with the new rules expected to be in place by January of 2021.

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