SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — College athletes will now be allowed to make money from their names, images and likenesses, according to a new NCAA ruling. The NCAA board’s unanimous decision is similar to a bill signed into law by California governor Gavin Newsom last month.

“The athletes bring a lot of attention to the school and they bring a lot of money to the campus,” said Jacob Lemerise, a student at San Jose State University. Students at San Jose State said it’s about time.

“We have some days when we don’t have anything to eat, we eat like Top Ramen,” said basketball player Javon Harris. Harris says athletes struggle financially and often can’t have part time jobs like other students.

“Being a student athlete is like having a 40 hour job. You have to practice your craft, but not only practice, but find time for study hall,” he said.

The NCAA said it would change the rules in a way that would let student athletes earn money “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

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Athletes could be allowed to sign shoe deals and make money off jerseys or appearances on video games.

“I think it’s good for the athletes, hopefully it puts more opportunities in their hands and a little bit more power,” said Erik Ellefsen, the athletic recruiting adviser at Valley Christian High School.

Ellefsen says the ruling could make it even harder for smaller colleges to compete for athletes.

“One of the biggest worries is that the athletes will be drawn to the big programs where the big dollar is, where the media market is,” he said.

And with more media exposure coming to the prep level every day, including televised games on networks like ESPN, could money be coming to high school athletes in some sports? Ellefsen said it’s already being discussed.

“People know these high school athletes in a way they never knew them before. I think some of the challenges the NCAA faces will trickle down to us and we’ll have to make decisions on how we respond,” he said.

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