ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Starting today the NCAA will allow college athletes to cash in on their athletic ability for the first time ever. Many says it’s a major milestone that could change the way college sports looks forever.

You may have seen the term “NIL,” which stands for “name, image, and likeness.” This change will allow college athletes at every level to monetize their success with the use of their name, image, and likeness.

The NCAA has long prohibited athletes from accepting any outside money. They believed that providing scholarships and stipends to athletes was sufficient.

Division 1 athletes will have no major restrictions on how they can be compensated for their NIL. In the past, athletes could be suspended or lose eligibility if they violated the rules.

Karl Mofor is a running back for the University of Albany’s football team. He is known as the play maker on the field. But now he wants to make another big play with his name.

“It’s great knowing that I have the opportunity to just better myself and also better myself financially,” said Mofor. 

University of Albany says they support this decision.

“The ability for student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness is a positive step forward, and UAlbany Athletics fully embraces this new opportunity for them. To help our student-athletes navigate this change, UAlbany has instituted an interim NIL policy that both clarifies what’s permitted and establishes guardrails to ensure compliance with other NCAA regulations. Moving forward, the UAlbany Athletics compliance staff also is organizing an educational program to help our student-athletes fully understand the opportunities available to them.”  

University at Albany Director of Athletics Mark Benson

“There should be no different between a regular student or a student athlete. We are just trying to get paid to better yourself. Money can help you out a lot,” said Mofor.  

Jared Fortier is the vice president of JR Sports Enterprises. He says the ability to pay college athletes opens the floodgates to a new world of endorsements, compensation and sponsored content on social media.

“With the NIL passing it’s not just going to be for the Division 1 athletes and the top athletes. I think it should be open for Division 1, 2 and 3,” said Fortier.

Mofor says along with preparing for the upcoming football season, he will be looking for promotions to further his career.