It only seemed a matter of time before college athletes would be able to make money off their name, image and likeness and today we saw a significant step toward that being sooner rather than later. On Wednesday morning, a board of NCAA Governors claimed support for a rule change that would allow collegiate athletes to receive monetary compensation for third party endorsements.
In English, that means that if the rules do get put in place, players will be able to make money off of endorsements, social media posts, autographs, etc. as soon as 2021. It’s a plan that has been in talks and debates for years, but today took a step toward becoming more firm.
HOWEVER, no rules have actually been put in place yet and this isn’t the first time we’ve heard the NCAA claim things like this without actually having rules in place, but publicly announcing support can certainly be seen as a strong indicator.
This is a big step for the NCAA. But it won't be the final step. The definition of amateurism will change again and again. In this definition, athletes will be able to profit from endorsement deals, but not in a free market. https://t.co/fPwph7uvoZ— Brady McCollough (@BradyMcCollough) April 29, 2020
Now that we’ve gotten the complicated and simplified definitions out of the way, here’s what could happen at Wisconsin. Let’s take Jack Coan for example. Under the possible new NCAA guidelines Jack could be paid for promoting a product or service in advertisements. If, say, Zimbrick Honda wanted to pay Jack for a radio or social media post they would have the green light to compensate him for that service.
Additionally, players would be able to monetize their own businesses, autographs or meet and greets. For example, under NCAA rules right now players cannot make money off of things like YouTube channels. If Coan had a YouTube channel of him playing Madden, and someone wanted to pay him for ads that would now be allowed.
A lot of it sounds very cut and dry, but there are some big restrictions on these possible new rules. One rule is that a players may not use any intellectual property from the school or the conference. So, going back to a possible ad, Jack Coan would not be able to use Wisconsin’s motion W in the promotion. Simple enough!
Additionally, schools may not facilitate or or arrange endorsement for players. Coach Chryst cannot pick up the phone and call Ian’s Pizza and say “I want Jack Coan to be in an advertisement with you guys.”
Lastly, schools cannot use or allow boosters to use endorsements as a means of paying for enrollment in said school. When on the recruiting trail a coach cannot say he’s got sponsorship deals lined up for a player if he decides to come to said school. Looking at you Ole Miss!
Overall, a lot of details will still need to be ironed out as there is no blueprint for this, but it seems to be a plan that will be fair for athletes to take advantage of what is theirs.
Rep. Donna Shalala (former Miami prez and Wisconsin chancellor) said the NCAA's announcement today was too vague to understand or prompt any real action. "No one comes to Congress with vague ideas."— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 29, 2020
Can you imagine the money Jonathan Taylor would have made if these were in place over the last three season? These players deserve to be able to use their name to make a profit just as any of us could do if we had the size, skills, or athleticism that they do.
Personally, I am excited to see what type of endorsements the Wisconsin offensive line can put together in their eventual partnership with Pizza Ranch. I mean that’s a given, right?