In case you haven’t already heard, the NCAA now lets college athletes profit off their name, image, and likeness. While the barbaric argument of “Free school should be enough” has long been an issue, this debate took a huge turn around 2014 when the big rig gaming company Electronic Arts halted their production of the iconic NCAA Football franchise because of a lawsuit by some former NCAA athletes. This video game used fake names on players, which means the big Auburn QB Cam Newton suddenly was the big Auburn QB John Williams. We all knew, and so did they.
Before this new ruling was put in place, many like myself wondered: “How would you pay the star QB at Georgia the same amount as the number 8 hitter at Oregon women’s softball?” After all, the big football school brings in way more money off of a football game than other sports at other schools do. The new ruling answered that. If you can make money off of yourself, do it. The NCAA won’t and more importantly, can’t stop you. Granted, there is not a salary in place yet to pay everyone, but if companies are clearly using you as a selling point, charge them.
There will be much more to come in this process that is long overdue, but this was a huge breakthrough.