National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are reportedly considering rule changes which would allow athletes to earn money from endorsements and sponsorship agreements from 2021.
College sport administrators are reportedly reviewing proposed rules prior to a meeting of the NCAA Board on April 27 and 28.
According to the Associated Press, the rule changes would enable athletes to make sponsorship and endorsement deals with companies and third parties if they are passed.
It is claimed the rules would prevent athletes from using their university brand in personal endorsement deals and would make them obliged to reveal the terms of contracts with their teams.
Athletes would potentially be able to sign autographs for money, sell their memorabilia and be paid for personal appearances under the rules.
The rules come after a state law published in California last October, which would allow athletes to hire agents and be paid endorsements.
Several states have since followed California in seeking to adopt laws, which would prevent colleges from blocking athletes from receiving endorsements and individual sponsorship agreements.
The law in California is set to come into force in 2023.
The NCAA had previously said that athletes representing the universities were amateurs, with rules prohibiting them from earning money from endorsements.
This is despite major American Football and basketball coaches and programmes benefiting from sponsorship and television rights.
Rule changes would reportedly be voted on in January next year.
Changes would reportedly centre on the NCAA Division 1, which comprises of universities which generally have the biggest student bodies.
The universities tend to have the largest athletics budgets and offer the most generous number of scholarships.
Around 350 colleges and universities feature in Division 1, with more than 170,000 student-athletes competing each year.
It has been claimed that the current rules have led to players who would previously have competed in college basketball to turn to the NBA's G-League, where developing players can compete professionally, earning salaries and endorsements.