In what could be a milestone decision for super-star student athletes, the NCAA governing board approved in a unanimous vote on Tuesday - a new rule that would allow U.S. collegiate athletes to profit from brand sponsorships and endorsement deals.
Student-athletes would also benefit from the use of their name, image or likeness.
Pressure was mounting after California last month became the first U.S. state to give college athletes the opportunity to earn endorsement money with Governor Gavin Newsom signing legislation into law that would take effect in 2023.
Other states quickly followed suite.
New Jersey just last week introduced the New Jersey Fair Play Act, to allow student athletes compensation for use of their names or likenesses and also the ability to hire their own agent or lawyer.
Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Minnesota, were all considering similar bills.
This change in NCAA rules will likely benefit athletes in high-profile sports such as football and basketball, which drive billions of dollars in advertising and revenue for media outlets, schools, coaches and the NCAA itself.
The NCAA said in a statement that "modernization" of its guidelines should "reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university." NBA superstar LeBron James, himself never a college athlete, reacted to the news in a Tweet, saying "It's a beautiful day for all college athletes going forward from this day on!"