In a major policy shift Wednesday, the NCAA will now allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, according to the organization.

The new temporary rules were announced just a day before states were set to allow laws that would regulate the student sport nonprofit came into effect.

"All college athletes are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities," according to NCAA President Mark Emmert.

The shift will allow nearly 500,000 college athletes to pursue endorsements, sponsorship deals and receive pay for personal appearances.