It was a monumental week in college sports as the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors formally adopted rule changes regarding college student-athletes being able to make money.
Any NCAA college athlete can now use their name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights for the first time, meaning they can endorse products, charge for autographs, and create logos to sell their items.
Although this week was the beginning of the NIL-era in college athletics, it was still years late when this should have happened for the first time.
NCAA president Mark Emmert was forced to come off his high horse and give the student-athletes what they have deserved for so long; a chance at entrepreneurship while still in school. Don’t you just hate to see it?
Of course, some mistakes will be made in the early stages of the NIL, but I think everyone can agree that this will be more good than bad.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Ben Frederickson said it best with this quote, “Student-athletes have been eating free meals for decades. They have been driving cars they did not buy for decades. They have been wearing free clothes, free jewelry, and free shoes for decades. And that’s when things go right, in the sense that it’s the student-athletes who receive the reward. Too often, the student-athletes have been cut out of the equation altogether, with benefits going to middle men, runners, wannabe agents, family, and coaches with bad intentions.”
Another perk for the NIL? Financial education. Some schools are offering courses and perks such as laptops/iPads and other educational items to have approved internships and take classes on how to file their taxes when making money off their sponsorship/brand.
More than anything, I believe the players deserved just some sort of cut while the coaches and schools reap millions and the NCAA brings in billions off these athletes’ talent.
For the complete column, see Wednesday's edition of the Laclede County Record.
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