Change Is on The Horizon for Student-Athletes, In a Big Way
On July 1, at least seven states will allow student-athletes to generate money off their name, image, and likeness
On Monday, June 21 the Supreme court unanimously ruled nine votes to zero in favor that the N.C.A.A. will not be able to prohibit student-athletes with education-related benefits in the case, N.C.A.A. vs Alston. Things such as paid internships, and other benefits solely related to education and not related to performance on the field will be awarded to college athletes. The goal is for this case to be just the tip of the iceberg regarding student-athletes being compensated for everything they do for universities around the country.
The court ruled that the N.C.A.A. “violated antitrust laws”, by limiting the amount of “non-cash education-related benefits” that schools can offer student-athletes. Supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh said in a statement, “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate.” “And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The N.C.A.A. is not above the law.”
Justice Kavanaugh’s point is very concrete, and he makes a great point, the N.C.A.A. believes it is an acceptable business model for them to not only prohibit students to receive educational benefits, but also to prohibit them from making money from the use of their names, images, and likeness. The recent decision to allow these players to be given educational benefits is just the first step to remodeling this corrupt system and as of next Thursday, the next step will be in order.
On July 1, at least seven states will allow student-athletes to generate money off their fame after state officials in those states decided they were not going to wait for the N.C.A.A. to finally pass NIL laws (NIL meaning name, image, likeness) but instead they took matters into their own hands to stop limiting the rights of these players. Student-athletes in Alabama, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Kentucky will be able to capitalize off the NIL laws by monetizing their social media following and they will also be able to sign endorsements off third parties, not from the schools themselves (FrontOfficeSports). The NIL laws will allow student-athletes in those states to make money off things like signing autographs or social media content such as YouTube and TikTok videos.
The NIL law being passed in these states is a remarkable milestone in the long history of advocating for student-athletes to get paid. The N.C.A.A. recorded $519 million in revenue last year and for years the athletes who are performing on the field have been prohibited from making any money let alone educational benefits. In an article by Dan Murphy of ESPN, he stated that certain student-athletes could earn as much as $1 million through social media while other athletes who compete in non-revenue sports could make between $1,000 and $3,000 (ESPN.com).
Opportunity’s for the Future
In the future, there is hope that the N.C.A.A. will join these states and adopt these NIL laws so student-athletes can build their brand before they get to the pros and be able to make money and provide for their family based on their personal brand. There have been multiple cases of athletes suffering career-ending injuries playing college basketball or college football which leads to financial problems down the road because they never could profit off of their personal brand in college. It cost the N.C.A.A. zero dollars to allow student-athletes to make money from their name, image, and likeness and it is cruel to not allow them to make money off their own personal brand. College presidents, athletic directors, commissioners, coaches, executives, and more all get large sums of money in their paycheck and the student-athletes who generate the revenue are the ones left without any type of compensation. If you compare it to any corporation in America it doesn’t make sense. If you look at the N.C.A.A. as a factory and the student-athletes are the workers inside that factory generating the money from their performances on the field, it makes no sense that those workers or players are not being paid in any way, let alone be able to make money themselves from their name, image or personal brand.
With the NIL laws being passed in at least seven states by Thursday, July 1, the future is bright for college athletes with the assumption that this is only the beginning, and soon these laws will be nationwide so student-athletes across the country will be able to profit off their personal brand and make money from endorsement deals, autographs, social media posts, and many other opportunities. When student-athletes have the freedom to use their creativity and make money, it grows their personal brand exponentially, and by the time they make it to the pros, they will already have a developed personal brand to build from.
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