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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The dam has officially cracked on college athletes benefiting from their own likenesses — now the question is how much ground the NCAA is actually willing to give.

Why it matters: California's landmark law, plus the threat of other states passing their own, has succeeded in forcing the NCAA to back away from its nuclear threats around player benefits.

  • The group's board of governors voted Tuesday to consider letting players benefit from their own names, images and likenesses.
  • What they're saying: Board chair Michael V. Drake said in a statement, "We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes."

Between the lines: Exactly what the NCAA will be giving up is far from clear, as Bloomberg notes.

  • The "NCAA stopped short of saying athletes would actually get paid."
  • "[G]etting paid to play isn’t on the table."
  • “The board of governors voted to allow players to ‘benefit’ from use of their name, image and likeness,” said NCAA players association executive director Ramogi Huma. “This is not a green light to receive ‘compensation.’"

The big picture: The NCAA is surrendering, Axios Sports editor Kendall Baker writes.

  • This was always going to happen. It was just a matter of when and how messy it was going to get with various states involved.

What to watch: As details are ironed out, expect a battle over control of college athletes’ licensing rights, Kendall tells me.

  • The NFLPA and NCPA (National College Players Association) signed a partnership yesterday.
  • The deal directly undercuts the NCAA and could provide a rubric for who goes to market with the licensing rights for athletes in major sports.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 12, 2020 - Sports

Big Ten, Pac-12 postpone football as ACC, SEC, Big 12 don't

Photo: James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The slim prospects of a fall college football season have evaporated in a matter of days — but don't tell that to the ACC, SEC and Big 12, which are still trying to make their seasons happen.

The state of play: The Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed all fall sports to the spring on Tuesday. No football, cross country, volleyball, soccer or field hockey.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.

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