NCAA adds new rule to benefit college athletes

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The NCAA made a drastic change to its policy Source:

Solomon Havelka, Writer

As of Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) made a drastic change to how college athletes will be reimbursed. For the first time, the NCAA has passed a rule allowing players to make money off of their image and likeness. This means Division I, II and III college athletes can sign endorsements, sign agents and get paid when people use their name. This will be a positive for college athletes across the board, now they will be able to benefit like the schools and companies that they are making so much money for during their times at these schools. The rule will be in effect in 2023, and the NCAA is asking colleges to have a set of ground rules by January 2021.

The image and likeness rule started to take up momentum beginning earlier this fall, as California became the first state to pass the rule. The problem with only a few states allowing this was that if the NCAA had chosen not to make the new rule by 2023, every player making money off their image and likeness would be punished for not following NCAA’s rules. Now that the NCAA has passed the rule, which will be set universally for 2023, players for schools and states that allow endorsements will be able to make money and not be punished by the NCAA. 

Money being the main focus

This is still a hot topic for many people, and the main argument is regarding how college students are spending their time to develop and focus on their craft. They should not have to worry about money until they get drafted. Many people believe these athletes don’t need to be paid because they are having housing and food supplied for them, and they receive apparel from the team. 

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Zion Williamson, one of the most explosive players college basketball has ever seen, injures his knee during the 2019 season.

These points are true, but what if someone gets hurt, and what if the players’ families are not able to help them anymore then the school does. The new rule will give these players the ability to benefit personally from all the news and press they already receive. For argument’s sake, when Zion Williamson went down with a knee injury early in a game played on February 20,  2019, against North Carolina, the question of if he would ever be able to play again came up. Williamson was the top-rated NBA draft prospect. He was getting talked about on every sports show, magazine, and radio broadcast. Williamson was and is something unlike any other player we have seen. Kids all over the nation were buying Duke merchandise just to be a part of the Zion legacy. If Williamson would have been able to play again, that would mean Duke, the NCAA, Sports Illustrated, and even Nike would have made money off him, leaving Williamson without having made a dollar. The new rule would give big-time college athletes the opportunity to put their name on the back of a jersey and make money off of those sales. They could sign earlier, get paid by the merchants like Nike, Adidas or Under Armor, and make money from the company for using their image or name on things. 

New NCAA video game and things that will come with it

One example that is going to make a big change is the NCAA video games. Since 2014, EA Sports and the NCAA have not been able to produce college video games. Sports fans and video game fanatics alike have been waiting in anticipation for one of the best games created to return. The new rule will give EA Sports the opportunity to create these games again.

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NCAA 14 video game. This was the last college sports game that was made, the new rule will hopefully bring the NCAA games back.

Some people may argue is the athlete is getting closer to the Pay to Play Act, which would allow college athletes to get paid by a contract. This brings up the concern of college sports losing their competitive nature. College sports have an atmosphere, unlike any professional sport. From college game days to the NCAA Tournament in March, college atmospheres are always fun, intense and crazy. Paying players could cause them to lose their will to stay competitive. They will be getting paid before the professional leagues, so these athletes could lose the motivation to bring full effort in order to develop and compete for the big contracts and endorsements that are coming in their future. This is a logical fear because one can sometimes see it in professional players. Some get caught up in their own self-image. They can forget they are playing for a team. They get caught up in making money and doing things for themselves. College athletes could give up on school and give up playing a sport once they get that payday for the first time.

This new rule for college athletes making money off of their image and likeness is a happy medium for college athletes who put their bodies and futures on the line for their schools and the NCAA.

It is a chance to make some money for themselves but also prevents the money aspect from being the main focus. This will still make the athletes push themselves while developing in the classroom and in their sport, so they can get drafted and have a contract they can rely on; however, it will also give them a chance to make money off their names, image, and the likeness of the player as a whole.

All in all, no one really knows how this rule will affect the college sports landscape. The hope is it gives college athletes a fair share of what their efforts are creating for their school and other companies. These athletes will still need to work hard to make more money in the future, but this is a perfect middle-ground for college athletes to benefit from what they are doing.