by Aaron Jaffe ’21
For years the NCAA strictly instituted rules so no athlete could sign brand deals, make money off their own name, or receive any of the revenue made by colleges’ athletic programs. It long has been debated whether college student athletes should be allowed to earn money off their own name, considering the athletes essentially are the product that brings in the money. However. the answer for a long time was a hard no about paying collegiate athletes.
On October 29, the NCAA officially gave the go-ahead to begin the process for collegiate athletes to cash in on their own name and likeness. Sounds like the NCAA finally caved, but their approval really is to further delay the inevitable. For now, the athletes can make money off their name as long as the NCAA deems the process by which the athlete earns money up to par with their view of the model for college athletes to receive payment.
The NCAA needs to come to terms what should be obvious. Athletes deserve to earn money off their likeness for the draw they bring to their colleges. The rule of thumb in many professions says that if you bring in a certain amount of money you should get a share of it. College athletes dedicate themselves to commit to being a basketball or football player at a prestigious school program and on top of that, they have to succeed in their academics. Their schedule surely says athletes are deserving of pay. It seems so easy. But there is almost always a second side to the story.
The main reason the NCAA stuck by their rules for so long is as simple as one word. Amateurism. Once college athletes start to gain money, they are gonna realise they want to begin to build their brand for the rest of their career. Players will shift their focus off of their collegiate careers and try to maximize their own chances, so hypothetically the 110 percent dedication once put forth towards winning turns into trying not to get hurt. In theory, if college athletes are allowed to make money of their own likeness, the integrity and the balance of the NCAA changes for the worse.
Athletes are supposed to do everything they can for a college and are rewarded with what feels like a pat on the back with the work they give to their school. The amount of money annually any D-1 school receives from athletics is ridiculous. College sports won’t turn into the NBA or NFL. Losing a bit of amateurism won’t devastate the game. Let the players maximize the prime of their careers and what they can bring in through their own brand.