CHICAGO (CBS) — There is some potentially big news in college athletics this week.
The NCAA’s top governing board voted to allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness – or NIL.
Details still need to be hammered out, but athletes will be able to earn money for things like advertising and social media.
CBS Sports Senior College Football Writer Dennis Dodd on Saturday broke down what this means for the sports and athletes so many of us love to watch.
“Players can now, you know, hire agents. They can make commercials, do endorsements, advertisements – even have their own camps and profit from it. There’s no cap on that,” Dodd told CBS 2’s Matt Zahn. “They haven’t answered the biggest question, which is how do you get your arms around recruiting, which is, in certain parts of major college sports, a cesspool to begin with?”
As it stands, it’s a bit of a mess, he said.
“Basically, Matt, they’ve got to decide a way, when big daddy booster comes up and says, ‘I’ll give you half a million dollars to do an ad for my used car lot,’ they’ve got to set a structure where they say, ‘Well look, we’ve compared this to other deals in other areas by other people, and that’s too much,’” Dodd said. “The issue is the NCAA can’t do that on its own, because then, the player could sue. Why can’t he sue? ‘He wants to give it to me, why can’t I have it?’”
Dodd continued: “What they need, and what they’ve said they need, is an antitrust exemption from Congress so they can do this side-by-side comparison – and say, ‘See, this is how it happens.’ That’s a problem. So is the coronavirus, and a presidential election which has the attention of Congress in an election year. There’s a lot of people that say that Congress can’t get to this. They won’t be able to martial the forces.”
So how can the NCAA keep this coming system at least somewhat fair?
“People talk to me about competitive advantage, and on its face, I don’t think much changes. Look, will they be able to earn individual money? Yeah. Will Alabama get better players than Toledo? Yeah. That’s the way it is now. The money will just be different,” Dodd said. “I think what this boils down to, Matt, is how much money can these players, athletes get before it turns off the average fan? I think it’s one whole hell of a lot of money, because if they’re wearing Michigan and Ohio State jerseys, people are going to watch. It doesn’t matter if the right guard is making $3,000 and the quarterback’s making $300,000. It’s still the same.”
The likeness rules would go into effect for the 2021-22 athletic season. Meanwhile, let’s hope we have college sports this fall.